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Sex Problems Are Costly

An HMO looks at male erectile dysfunction

If you can possibly stand it, here's another report on Viagra (sildenafil). It comes from the January 2000 issue of the journal Pharmacoeconomics, and compares the three-year costs of different non-surgical treatments for male erectile dysfunction.

The study assumes a managed-care plan with 100,000 enrollees and accounts for the costs of medical evaluation, treatment and follow-up examinations. All numbers are in 1998 U.S. dollars.

  • Vacuum devices are reuseable, so they cost the least at an estimated $51,930.
  • Testosterone patches have an estimated cost of $81,866.
  • Suppositories inserted into the urethra would come to $266,483 for the three-year period.
  • Papaverine injections into the penis have an estimated cost of $384,624.
  • Viagra has an estimated cost of $1,728,142.

The authors warn that there are high costs associated with switching a patient from one treatment to another, so it's best to start with a treatment that the patient will accept.

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