Bizarre law turns Coffee, Chocolate into prescription drugs
It could be a case of “Doctor Doctor, I need my morning coffee script renewed,” if a bizarre move to ban spiked herbal sex pills is approved. That’s because coffee, as well as chocolate, pomegranate juice and a host of other ‘normal and safe’ foods and herbs contain the active ingredients similar to those in ED drugs Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.
And in a bid to control “Green Viagra” – sex pills adulterated with ED drugs – New Zealand authorities are gunning for any substance containing PDE-5 inhibitors, the thing that makes ED drugs work.
In a move that natural health advocates suspect is directly from mega pharma interests keen to squash competition, popular men’s sex herbs horny goat weed and guarana could also be made prescription only medicines.
Many people prefer herbal alternatives because they are more relaxed and natural to use, and don’t produce a feeling of “compulsion” on female partners to comply so the man “get’s his money’s worth”.
Popular herbal sex tonic Herbal Ignite is one supplement likely to be affected by the change, because it contains horny goat weed, with the active ingredient icarin, a PDE-5 inhibitor.
If the regulators carry through with their proposal, New Zealand will be the only country in the world that makes horny goat weed into a prescription medicine – they obviously think it works!
The muddle has occurred because health authorities understandably want to control sales of “spiked” sex pills, many of them produced in Asia, adulterated with active ingredients (the so-called PDE-5 inhibitors) from ED medicines Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.
But in their enthusiasm to curb sale of the adulterated pills, NZ health regulators are recommending that any substance containing a PDE-5 inhibitor be made a prescription medicine.
The problem is PDE-5 inhibitors are found in smaller or greater amounts in many foods and herbs, and the recommendation suggests a blanket ban without any reference to risk levels or the strength of the active ingredient.
Herbal Ignite managing director Tim Bickerstaff said his company was fully behind the moves to outlaw “spiked” sex pills because they gave all herbal enhancement products a bad name.
“These ‘spiked’ pills claim to be totally natural and yet they contain undeclared amounts of drugs,” he says.
“That could be dangerous. It highlights the importance for the public to find a product they can trust,” said Tim Bickerstaff, who launched his men’s sex tonic Ignite ten years ago.
However Tim Bickerstaff says he believes the NZ authorities already have the power to deal with the problem, just as the FDA did in the USA, without outlawing a safe and effective herb.
“If they find “spiked” herbal products in their testing they can prosecute them under several different laws, including the Medicines Act, Medicines Regulations and the Dietary Supplements Regulations. They don’t need to introduce more red tape – and give the pharmaceutical companies a free run.”