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The Majority Of Men With Erectile Dysfunction Remain Untreated

Despite the high (ED) prevalence most patients receive no treatment, according to a new US study, presented at the 28th Annual EAU Congress. Undertreatment of ED continues to be common, even though the treatments have a proven efficacy and quality of life impact.

“Until now, research conducted on the treatment of erectile dysfunction has been derived from surveys involving small populations,” wrote the authors.

“However, a comprehensive and larger patient-based study using claims data that characterises men undergoing treatment for ED remains to be performed. The aim of the study was to determine the frequency of use of , associated co-morbidites of ED in a large population of men.”

During a 12-month period ending June 2011, patients were identified and included in a payor data-set if they received a diagnosis code for ED. Patients were considered “treated” if they filled a for a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5i), injection or urethral prostaglandins or androgen replacement (ART). “Untreated” patients received the diagnosis but did not fill a .

The therapies prescribed were monitored by prescription frequency prescribed, age, co-morbidities, and by physician speciality.

Of the 6,228,509 patients derived from a pool of 87,600,000 men with a diagnosis of ED, 25.4% of these were treated; 74.6% went untreated. The most commonly prescribed medications were PDE5i (75.2%) and ART (30.6%).

Less than 2% of patients used any prostaglandin therapy. Treatment frequency was higher for co-morbid hypogonadism (51% treated) and less for co-morbid prostate cancer (15% treated), but otherwise it did not vary significantly with other associated comorbidities.


O. Cakir, et al., “The frequencies and characteristics of men receiving medical intervention for erectile dysfunction: Analysis of 6.2 million patients,” Abstract Nr: 126; 28th Annual EAU Congress, 15 to 19 March 2013; Milan, Italy.
European Association of Urology