Siobhain McDonagh,Mr Azis's MP, told the Commons he needs Viagra to stay alive as the drug dilates his arteries to carry blood to his muscles
A father-of-three faces an early death unless he is prescribed the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra to treat his lung disease, a Labour MP claimed today.
Siobhain McDonagh told the Commons her constituent Liaquat Aziz needs the stimulant as he suffers from lung and cardiac disease.
The 61-year-old’s doctors insist he faces an early death unless he is prescribed the drug, which is usually used to treat erectile dysfunction.
Mr Aziz’s arteries are currently too narrow and the drug dilates them so that they can carry more oxygen to his muscles.
But Merton and Sutton Primary Care Trust are threatening to withdraw treatment from Mr Aziz as it will cost £5,000 and the drug should not necessarily be prescribed, according to national guidelines.
It is up to the discretion of individual PCTs if they prescribe the drug.
Speaking in the Commons, Mitcham and Morden MP Ms McDonagh said her repeated calls for meetings with the trust have not been answered.
She said the cost of his inevitable hospital treatment without the drug would cost the NHS more money than the Viagra itself.
She said: 'Here is a man who could die without this drug and the bosses at Merton and Sutton Primary Care Trust cannot even deign to talk to his MP.
'Mr Aziz is a good man. He has an extraordinary medical history. He is a testament to our NHS but he needs a tablet that most people, if they are honest, think is a bit of a joke drug.
'He needs Viagra. It’s not for recreational purposes, it is to stay alive and my local NHS would rather let him suffer than let him have the only drug that works on him.
HOW DOES VIAGRA WORK?
'It would cost thousands of pounds a day to look after him in hospital but they won’t spend £5,000 to keep him out. My local NHS has behaved appallingly to him and have treated me and my office with a basic lack of respect.
'We all know the NHS is facing pressures that it hasn’t had to face before, but in this case Viagra is not a sex tablet, it is a life-saver.'
Speaking outside the Commons, Mr Aziz, a retired engineer from Merton, said he was angry at the decision to potentially withdraw the drug.
His battle with the NHS started two years ago when he was prescribed Viagra. It worked successfully, but then the PCT said it should be withheld.
He managed to successfully overturn the decision and get a prescription for half the original amount.
But the PCT is now threatening to withdraw it again.
Mr Aziz said: 'I cannot believe it. I feel angry because I have been working for 30 years and paid my National Insurance and income tax and now I cannot get the medicine that I need.
'My family is also very stressed as we are getting letters saying now I can have it, now I can’t. They are not sure what will happen.
'You have to wonder what is the point of having professional doctors if you are not going to listen to them. They are educated people and are prescribing the medicine for a reason, they are not doing it for a joke or for fun.'
Public Health minister Anna Soubry said it was the PCT's discretion whether he received the treatment
Health Minister Anna Soubry said she would be happy to attend a meeting between the PCT, Mr Aziz and his MP, Ms McDonagh, who represents Mitcham and Morden.
The minister said the Government’s health reforms to abolish PCTs will mean GPs have the final say when it comes to prescribing drugs to patients.
But she said guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which stated Viagra should not be handed out automatically for Mr Aziz’s condition, meant that it was at the discretion of the PCT whether he received the treatment.
Ms Soubry said: 'I have to say, looking at what I have been told by the PCT, (Mr Aziz) has been through all the sorts of processes that you would expect.
'I have to hope and pray that in the course of all of that, and the various effective appeals he has made to the PCT, everything has been properly considered.
'But it just strikes me that the most obvious thing that should have been done, hasn’t been done.
'Nobody seems to have sat Mr Aziz down and explained things to him.
'If there is a good reason, then he should be told that and if it is just the money, then again we know exactly what the problem is.
'Therefore what I am going to suggest is that those who might be listening, whether it be in this building or whether they are at the other end of a television camera, should sit down with this man and discuss the way forward for his treatment.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2286680/Father-faces-early-death-unless-prescribed-VIAGRA-treat-lung-condition.html#ixzz2MV7d78Wl
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