House votes to bar public funding for ED drugs

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to bar government insurance programs Medicare and Medicaid from paying for the erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.
Currently, Medicaid spends approximately $15 million a year on ED drugs and the Congressional Budget Office predicts the government would spend $2 billion over 10 years on impotence treatments, once Medicare begins offering prescription drug coverage in 2006.
The bill must still pass in the Senate where a similar measure has also been introduced.
The pharmaceutical industry said it would work to keep the bill out of the Senate.
"Unfortunately, the House is telling these men (anti-impotence drug patients), 'Tough luck, you are on your own,' Ken Johnson, senior vice president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) told The New York Times. "Hopefully, the Senate will view this important health issue with a little more compassion."
In passing the bill, 100 Democrats joined with 185 Republicans to approve the measure by a final vote of 285 to 121.
The measure is part of an overall spending bill providing more than $600 billion for a wide array of health and education programs including money for the National Institutes of Health, student loans and programs to fight AIDS.

 

You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters


What does going "beyond the pill" actually mean? At MM&M's recent inaugural spring conference, audience members heard from real-world companies that are managing the organizational, technological, and promotional challenges inherent in this transition, such as partnering with health neophytes, harnessing technologies that allow deeper engagement with patients, and adopting a new commercial mindset to serve, not sell. Download here.


A wave of more effective anti-cancer drugs has set the oncology world on fire with enthusiasm. While many hail this as a new era, an equally vocal faction questions the money spent for the value gained. This medical and commercial trend report for marketers of anti-cancer modalities touches on many of the latest shifts that have expedited product launches and otherwise impacted promotion and reimbursement of these drugs. Click here.