Are Medications for treatment of Erectile Dysfunction on the Red list (or not)?

GP practices and Specialists frequently ask for clarification on the status of medicines for erectile dysfunction.

The entry on the Red Amber list reads as ‘Red – Severe distress caused by impotence’.

Two Department of Health Circulars provide guidance on circumstances when GPs can prescribe under ‘S11’ regulations, and when they should not. (HSS(PCCD) 18/99 and HSS(SC) 2/99).

In circumstances where GPs can prescribe, the medicines are not classified at all (neither Red nor Amber). Examples from the Circular of such causes of impotence include: diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, poliomyelitis, prostate cancer, prostatectomy, radical pelvic surgery, renal failure treated with dialysis or transplant, single gene neurological disease, spinal cord injury, spina bifida.

The Circulars use the term ‘Severe distress’ as a category to describe those circumstances where the GP should not prescribe. In those circumstances, the medicines are considered Red list.

When you are reviewing a request to supply, it may be useful to refer to the list of conditions described above, and if the patient does not have any of the conditions listed, then further investigate whether supply should be made via secondary care.

Website Survey

We recently carried out a survey of our website. The survey is now closed and we would like to thank everybody who completed it, some very useful feedback and comments were made. We have started to analyse the results and begun to explore ways to improve the experience for visitors to the website in the future.

Updated Neurology Shared Care Guidelines

The review of regional shared care guidelines for the following neurology/movement disorder medicines is now complete:

These have been reviewed by a multidisciplinary shared care guideline review group and approved by the Regional Group on Specialist Medicines (HSCB).

These guidelines are intended to detail the respective clinical responsibilities of the Specialist and the GP when these medicines are prescribed by the GP on the recommendation of a specialist.

For clinical areas using printed guidelines, always check you are using the most up to date version.

Denosumab shared care guideline updated

Following publication of a safety update by MHRA regarding reports of osteonecrosis of the external auditory canal, the shared care guideline for denosumab (Prolia®) has been updated.

The updated guideline, available here, contains amended advice for healthcare professionals regarding the possibility of osteonecrosis of the external auditory canal which should be considered in patients receiving denosumab who present with ear symptoms including chronic ear infections or in those with suspected cholesteatoma.

Updated DMARD-type shared care guidelines

In June 2017 the Regional Group on Specialist Medicines approved updated shared care guidelines for a number of DMARD type amber drugs. The recommendations in the guidelines are in line with the new 2016 BSR guideline.

Further information regarding changes in monitoring recommendations is available here.

New IPNSM Website Launched

The Interface Pharmacist Network for Specialist Medicines are delighted to announce the launch of our new website. The move to a new website was originally prompted by a change in the technology used within HSCNI for publishing websites but we have also taken the opportunity to make some improvements to the way we publish the Red Amber List and Shared Care Guidelines.

We welcome any feedback on the new website that you may have – please feel free to get in touch with us – our contact details can be found here.