Study: Many men sidestep doctor when buying ED drugs

January 29, 2010 8:28:09 AM PST
People who buy prescription medications on the Internet, especially drugs to treat erectile dysfunction, might be playing Russian roulette. The sale of counterfeit drugs has almost doubled in the last five years. It could hit $75 billion this year.

A new study finds that about one-third of men reported sidestepping a health-care professional when buying erectile dysfunction drugs. Those tablets bought on the Internet aren't necessarily cheaper than the real thing, but they do allow buyers to avoid the embarrassment associated with asking for this type of drug.

But, doctors say erectile dysfunction can be an early warning sign of heart disease or diabetes, so patients need to see a medical professional.

The study is published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.