Connecticut State Employees' Viagra Prescriptions Cost Taxpayers $1 Million Per Year
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Connecticut State Employees’ Viagra Prescriptions Cost Taxpayers $1 Million Per Year

A new report has revealed that the state of Connecticut is spending an average of $1 million per year to cover the cost of Viagra and its generic counterpart, Sildenafil, for its active state employees and members enrolled in Partnership Plan 2.0.

What is Viagra?

Viagra and Sildenafil are prevailing medical solutions for treating erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. It is a condition believed to impact roughly 30 million men across the United States. Although historically associated with advancing age, it’s noteworthy that younger men have increasingly sought treatment.

The factors precipitating ED are broad, from physical ailments like diabetes and obesity to psychological challenges. It is along with societal pressures associated with body image. According to Massachusetts Male Aging Study, 52 percent of 40 to 70 have experienced some manifestation of impotence.

State employees and program participants were prescribed Viagra or its generics by doctors from 2019 to 2022, totaling 12,994 people. The collective expenditure for these prescriptions was $4.1 million. This averages to $3,248 per year and $1.04 million per year.

Statistically, this averages out to approximately 3,248 beneficiaries annually, with a mean cost of $1.04 million. In 2022, 4,771 active state personnel and Partnership Plan members designated as recipients of Viagra or Sildenafil prescriptions to address their ED concerns.

The number of prescriptions is increasing 

Remarkably, the number of prescriptions dispensed has demonstrated a stable pattern, hovering around an average of 15,169 throughout the four-year period. Although the prescription count for 2022 showed a marginal uptick, it wasn’t statistically significant.

In 2022, Connecticut’s health plan and Partnership Plan collectively covered around 74,927 active state and municipal employees. Consequently, the proportion of individuals seeking ED treatment in that year amounted to approximately 6.3 percent, a figure notably below prevalent estimates for ED treatment rates.

The financial burden borne by taxpayers for these treatments saw a significant downward trend in 2022, decreasing by 23% to $850,837. Notably, mainly prescribed medications were generic brands, with competitive dynamics among these alternatives contributing to cost alleviation.

Addressing this matter, Connecticut Comptroller Sean Scanlon clarified that his office doesn’t regulate benefit coverage directly, but instead manages benefits as negotiated between administrative bodies and labor representatives. Scanlon underscored the office’s commitment to secure cost-effective solutions that prioritize taxpayer interests while ensuring optimal service for state employees.

“The Office continues to seek to administer those benefits at the lowest cost to the taxpayers with the best possible service to state employees. For prescription drugs, the office seeks to ensure the plan receives the best possible discounts on all covered prescription drugs.”

Connecticut Comptroller Sean Scanlon

Researchers about ED and Viagra

Researchers hypothesize that ED may affect a greater percentage of males than reported through their seeking of treatment. This could include younger men.

“I do think that openness and recognition that this is a true medical and health issues associated with other medical and health issues is increasing,” Rotker said in an email. “As to the cause in younger men, I see a lot of men under 65 with many medical co-morbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity that maybe accelerate the onest of erectile dysfunction. I also see many younger men with psychogenic erectile dysfunction which is a physical problem that can occur due to stress and anxiety.”

Dr. Katherine Rocker from Yale School of Medicine, specializing in ED treatment

Interestingly, the financial magnitude of Connecticut’s Viagra and Sildenafil prescriptions pales in comparison to obesity-related medications. Reports indicate an annual expenditure of around $30 million on weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy.

The burgeoning market for ED drugs reached a valuation of $2.6 billion in 2022. It also projected expansion to $5.1 billion by 2032, owing to increased global accessibility.

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