Psychiatrist facing sack after prescribing Viagra
By Laura Paterson
August 26, 2014
A STAND-IN psychiatrist faces being struck off after a disciplinary body found he had advised that sex hormones and Viagra should be prescribed to several patients without carrying out proper assessments.
Locum psychiatrist Dr Amarjit Singh Bedi also diagnosed a patient with the tropical body-swelling disease elephantitis despite the fact that she had never been to a country where she could have caught it, the medical tribunal hearing heard.
While working for NHS Lanarkshire between 2010 and 2011, Dr Bedi failed to screen for serious conditions such as diabetes or heart disease before advising that patients’ GPs should start treatment with testosterone.
Dr Bedi claimed investigations were not necessary because the patients’ ages would have meant their testosterone levels would have dropped.
He claimed he was treating “low libido”, not erectile dysfunction, but also prescribed sildenafil, also known as Viagra, for the patients without considering that prescription medication could be causing the problem or, in the case of two patients, carrying out checks.
In the cases of two female patients on drugs used for epilepsy and bipolar disorder, the hearing found Dr Bedi also failed to discuss the risks of getting pregnant while on the medication.
He inappropriately diagnosed the patient with elephantitis because her feet were swollen, and decided another patient had narcolepsy because he was “sleepy” during an examination.
The fitness-to-practice panel also found Dr Bedi continued to prescribe drugs after being suspended from duty and failed to turn up for shifts.
After he left his temporary post, various items were found at his room in Hamilton, including patient notes and prescription drugs such as diazepam, a testosterone substitute and anti-anxiety medication.
He was also found to have left an application for a gun licence in the room.
Dr Bedi represented himself at the hearing and admitted having the drugs and other items in his room, including the application for a gun licence in India.
He also admitted prescribing drugs – including an anti-psychotic, an infertility treatment and anxiety medication – for eight months after being suspended due to an investigation in 2011, but claimed these were for a relative and he was simply “clerking” them rather than prescribing them. The panel said there was “no such concept within the medical profession as clerking’ prescriptions”.
Panel chairwoman Michele Codd told Dr Bedi: “Your evidence to the panel was, at times, contradictory and evasive. You changed your evidence on multiple occasions and you provided implausible explanations.
“The panel also did not accept your evidence in relation to the patients who were prescribed testosterone and/or sildenafil. You made repeated assertions that you had taken patient histories and asked patients about diabetes, cardiovascular disease and prostate problems. There was no evidence of this.”
The hearing in Manchester was adjourned until December.