CBSN

Israel Halts Viagra Prescriptions

Israel's health ministry ordered doctors to halt prescriptions of Viagra after six deaths among users of the impotence pill were reported last week.

Viagra manufacturer Pfizer Inc. has not yet applied for approval from Israel's health ministry since entering the market a few weeks ago. But the pill was already available by prescription, the health ministry said Monday.

Last week, Pfizer reported six deaths among Viagra patients to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and repeated earlier warnings that patients on nitroglycerine and related heart drugs shouldn't use Viagra.

The FDA hasn't yet determined whether last week's deaths in the United States by Viagra users were caused by the drug, but Israeli health officials said they would wait for further word from the FDA before renewing approval on a prescription basis or putting Viagra on the shelves.

In Israel, only eight requests for the pill have been filled while another 80 were rejected, the health ministry said.

Israel is not the only Middle East country to withhold approval of Viagra. Egyptian health officials have decided to conduct their own tests of the drug before granting approval for sales to the public.

Written by Vita Bekker