The Military

In the War on Impotence, the VA Deploys Viagra and Cialis


In the War on Impotence, the VA Deploys Viagra and Cialis

Photograph by Raphael Gaillarde/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has treated increasing numbers of combat troops for post-traumatic stress disorder in recent years. It’s also dispensing more drugs for erectile dysfunction, which PTSD can cause even in young veterans. Last year the agency spent $71.7 million (almost triple what the VA paid for erectile dysfunction drugs in 2006) on Viagra, Cialis, and similar drugs for veterans who qualify for free or subsidized health care. Sexual difficulties aren’t something “that a lot of veterans would readily talk about,” says Jason Hansman, senior program manager for health and mental health programs at the advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “It’s a very good sign that the VA is paying out and not trying to avoid the issue.”

Miller is a reporter for Bloomberg Government.

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