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No Fear No Favour

US military spends $84 million annually on medicines like Viagra, Cialis; here’s why

The newly elected President of the United States, Donald Trump, in one recent post on social networking site Twitter, announced that transgender will not be allowed to serve the US military. Even as Trump targets the transgender, thereby declaring to ban them from the military, one recent statistics revealing the total amount spent by Pentagon on erectile dysfunction medication is rather astonishing. As reported by the Military Times newspaper, the US military spends an estimate of $84 million annually on medications relating erectile dysfunction. While on the contrary, as estimated by the Rand Corporation think tank, health care cost for transgender personnel would have least affected the health budget of the military, with the addition of an amount of just $ 8.4 million per year.

As reported by the Military Times in February 2015, the US military had spent a total of $ 294 million on medicines like Viagra, Cialis and similar medications since 2011. Adding to the fact on the high budget towards erectile dysfunction treatment, it further mentioned that about 1.18 million prescriptions suggesting similar medication were being filled in 2014.

Further analysing the huge allocation of money on such treatment, the Military Times pointed out that while only 10 per cent of the prescriptions were for active duty personnel, most of the medication were availed by military retirees and their family members. Reportedly, the US military healthcare system provides support to around 10 million people who are presently not an active part of the military and the total budget for this purpose costed Pentagon an amount of $ 52 billion in 2012.

However, even as erectile dysfunction is more evident among older men, the problem among active personnel has been increasing since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Recent studies have suggested that the major cause behind the rise is psychological. As reported by the BBC, the US Department of Veterans Affairs pointed out that the army personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction than their civilian counterparts. The total number of army veterans with PTSD suffering from erectile dysfunction is almost four times more than the numbers among civilians.

Erectile dysfunction is also linked to other physical diseases like heart problems, high blood pressure and diabetes.

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