Tags: DOD | erectile dysfunction | Viagra | military

Defense Dept. 'Troop Support' Included $41M for Viagra Last Year

By    |   Monday, 16 Feb 2015 12:40 PM

The Department of Defense (DOD) spent $84.24 million on drugs to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) last year, including $41.6 million on Viagra.

USA Today reports that, since 2011, the Pentagon's cost of providing drugs to treat ED has amounted to $294 million, or enough to nearly pay for four U.S. Air Force fighter jets.

Listing the expense under "troop support," the DOD issued 60 contracts for over a half million dollars, including $3,505 worth of Levitra and $14,540 of Cialis, other ED drugs, Fox News reports.

There is little doubt that the drugs are needed. A University of Southern California study last year found that young men in the military are suffering from ED at a rate nearly five times that of non-military men of comparable age, or 33 percent as compared to just 7 percent, Roll Call reports.

Roughly 80 percent of the study's 367 test subjects were veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and half are considered to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from combat.

Sherrie Wilcox, a research assistant professor at the University of Southern California, told NBC News: "These problems are likely elevated in this young group of military personnel due to the compounding challenges that are unique to our military service members, including intense but essential training, relocations, deployment and combat exposure."

The report concluded that "SFPs (Sexual Functioning Problems) in young male military personnel are an important public health concern that can severely impact QOL (Quality Of Life) and happiness."

Maj. James Brindle, DOD spokesman for personnel and readiness, told NBC that "the department takes all aspects of our service members' health, fitness, and morale seriously. We are reviewing this study but are currently unaware of any environmental exposure that could be contributing to erectile dysfunction in the force."

The DOD dispensed eight kinds of ED drugs in 2014, with 905,083 of the total 1.18 million prescriptions for Viagra, 185,841 for Cialis and 1,699 for Revatio, Marine Corps Times reported.

The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) reported in September that incidences of ED more than doubled between 2004 and 2014, from 5.8 cases per 1,000 person-years to 12.6 cases. Some 100,248 cases were diagnosed between 2004 and 2013, USA Today reported.

DOD began dispensing Viagra in 1998, and since then, the price of the pill has climbed from $10 per pill to $25. Fewer than 10 percent of the prescriptions filled were for current active duty troops, USA Today notes.

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The Department of Defense spent $84.24 million on drugs to treat erectile dysfunction last year, including $41.6 million on Viagra.
DOD, erectile dysfunction, Viagra, military
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2015-40-16
Monday, 16 Feb 2015 12:40 PM
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