Decision reversed by Sutton and Merton PCT to deny Morden man life-saving Viagra
A decision to deny a father of three life saving Viagra has been reversed.
Liaquat Aziz, 61, from Morden, suffers from lung and cardiac disease causing his arteries to narrow with everyday tasks leaving him breathless.
Two years ago Mr Aziz was prescribed the stimulant, commonly known as Viagra, which dilates his arteries allowing more oxygen to be carried to his muscles and improving his ability to carry out simple tasks.
But despite his doctors supporting its continuation, Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust (PCT) said they would not extend Mr Aziz's prescription of the £5,000 per year drug because there was not "enough clinical evidence or robust data" to support its approval, leaving him to face an early death.
Last week that decision was overturned by the Merton Clinical Commissioning Group who Mr Aziz said had admitted there had been "weaknesses" in their procedure.
He said: "They come to the conclusion that their decision had come from a procedural level rather than from following any assessment from my GP.
"Eventually they realised there were some weaknesses and they have realised it was nothing to do with funding but more to do with medical need and they have now said there is no problem with giving it to me.
"It is great news but it is worrying to think how many others may have been in a similar situation and refused the drug who just accepted it.
"For me its means I can have a peaceful night’s sleep as I have not slept worrying about it."
MP Siobhain McDonagh spoke in the House of Commons earlier this month in support of Mr Aziz who she said had been treated "appallingly" by the PCT.
Following a meeting with Merton’s Clinical Commissioning group on Thursday, she said: "They said yes it was wrong and have said that Mr Aziz will get his drugs and they will sort out how it was going to be paid for.
"We also identified problems in the system when looking at individual cases."
She added: "We were told that there are quite a few people who applied for the drug for cardiovascular problems and they got refused.
"The people who are making the decisions are not necessarily knowledgeable about it.
"I think Mr Aziz is very pleased and feels that we may now be able to make it better for other people as we have identified a problem that needs to be rectified."
A spokesperson for Merton Clinical Commissioning Group said: “As a new organisation, Merton CCG is determined that incidents such as this are never repeated.
"We have set up an internal review of the Individual Funding Requests (IFR) process for Merton to make sure it is improved from the lessons learnt in this case.
"We are very pleased that Mr Aziz has offered to help us with the review from a patient perspective. By working together we can ensure that other patients are not put in the same situation.”