Military Spends $84 Million on Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

The Department of Defense spent more than $84 million on erectile dysfunction medications in 2014, according to a report in Military Times. Nearly half of that, $41.6 million, was spent on Viagra, with military doctors writing nearly a million prescriptions for that drug alone last year.

The US military is proving a mighty market for erectile dysfunction drugs.

The Department of Defense spent more than $84 million on erectile dysfunction medications in 2014, according to a report in Military Times. Nearly half of that, $41.6 million, was spent on Viagra, with military doctors writing nearly a million prescriptions for that drug alone last year.

The Defense Department also spent millions on Eli Lilly’s Cialis and Pfizer’s Revatio. The figures come from data from the Defense Health Agency.

The ED spending came to light when the conservative news website Washington Free Beacon reported that the agency had spent $504,816 on Viagra. The story inspired waves of Internet chatter, even though it turned out to be based on incomplete information. The Free Beacon’s figure came from 60 DOD contracts awarded to Cardinal Health Inc. However, those contracts represent only a small part of the Defense Department’s pharmaceutical purchases. The Military Times report included prescriptions filled through pharmacy benefits giant Express Scripts.

A study released last year by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center found more than 100,000 active-duty military members were diagnosed with ED between 2004 and 2013. The report found less than 1% of servicemen under age 40 were diagnosed with the condition, and in more than half of the cases the condition was attributed to psychiatric causes.

The vast majority of ED prescriptions were for non-active duty beneficiaries, which could include retired service members, and military family members.

According to Pfizer, Viagra brought in $457 million in global revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014, down about 4% slightly from the fourth quarter of 2013. The majority of those sales, $324 million, came in the US.