Government officials confirmed that Viagra would be covered under the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, which takes effect in 2006. In a nation where we're trying to teach abstinence to young adults, taxpayers are now footing the bill for sex-enhancing drugs for grandpa.
Viagra, the blockbuster impotence drug, will be paid for under Medicare's new prescription drug coverage, officials said on Tuesday.
A new prescription drug coverage law that takes effect next year means the government health insurance plan for the elderly must offer to help pay for medically necessary drugs, the officials said.
That would include sildenafil, sold by Pfizer under the brand name Viagra, and other erectile dysfunction drugs.
"If it's an illness then Medicare can cover it," a Health and Human Services spokesman said.
Karr said the "medically necessary" part is important.
"These kind of drugs are going to have a very minor impact on the drug benefit," he said.
"These particular drugs are sometimes prescribed because another medical condition makes it necessary -- if there is a vascular problem, that sort of thing," Karr added.
Citizens Against Government Waste criticized the move.
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