BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 10 January, 2002, 13:04 GMT
Viagra web doctor suspended
Viagra pills
Viagra cannot be bought over the counter
A doctor from Staffordshire who sold the sex pill Viagra and a slimming drug over the internet has been suspended for three months.

Dr Richard Franklin was found guilty of serious professional misconduct at a hearing at the General Medical Council (GMC).

The doctor, registered at Newcastle-under-Lyme, prescribed the impotence drug Viagra and the slimming pill Xenical through a medical website.

But the GMC ruled that he did not act in the best interests of his patients by not carrying out "an adequate assessment of their conditions".

In supplying them in this way you were not acting in your patients' best interests

John Shaw, GMC committee chairman

The GMC's professional conduct committee heard that Dr Franklin supplied the drugs through the online prescription service MED Clinic.

Patients had to fill in an online questionnaire which was to be reviewed by Dr Franklin.

But the closed nature of the questionnaire meant did not allow for a dialogue between doctor and patient, the committee concluded.

Mr John Shaw, committee chairman, told Dr Franklin at the hearing on Wednesday he would be suspended for three months.

"Your arrangements for following the progress of the patients were unsatisfactory and would not allow you to monitor the effect of treatment or revise the diagnosis.

"These medicines are available only on prescription and in supplying them in this way you were not acting in your patients' best interests."

Right of appeal

He said the prescribing practice of a doctor should be no different whether through the internet or otherwise.

"The committee has carefully considered what action it should take in relation to your registration.

"It has taken into account all mitigation offered on your behalf, including the testimonials.

"However, it took the view that because your behaviour was a gross breach of GMC guidance on the standards of patient care, conditions restricting your internet prescribing would not be sufficient.

"The committee has therefore directed the register to suspend your registration for a period of three months."

During the suspension period, the committee will decide if further action against Dr Franklin should be taken.

Dr Franklin has a right of appeal.

Click here for more from BBC Stoke Online
See also:

03 Dec 01 | England
Car boot doctor struck off
02 Nov 01 | Wales
Slimming pill doctor struck off
13 Apr 00 | Sci/Tech
Prudish pandas turn to Viagra
02 Jun 98 | Medical notes
How Viagra works
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories