The Pentagon issued 60 contracts worth a total of $504,816 for Viagra in 2014, the Washington Free Beacon reported. All 60 contracts were awarded to Cardinal Health Inc., a pharmaceutical distribution company based in Dublin, Ohio.
Last year, the Pentagon also ordered $3,505 worth of Levitra and $14,540 of Cialis, two other popular erectile dysfunction drugs, the Free Beacon reported.
The contracts were filed under “Troop Support.”
Since the Department of Defense began offering Viagra to soldiers as a medical benefit in 1998, the price of the drug has grown from $10 a pill to $25 a pill.
Back in 1998, the military’s policy only allowed for six pills a month per patient, and the DoD said they would “not replace lost or stolen pills.”
“Defense guidelines allow military physicians to prescribe Viagra only after a thorough evaluation indicates the medication as the optimal regimen for the patient,” a release outlining the Pentagon’s policy said.
“Patients prescribed Viagra also receive careful guidelines for taking the medication. According to defense health officials, Viagra side effects may include headaches, flushing of the face or chest, indigestion, nasal congestion and mild vision impairment.”
“There’s also no guarantee Viagra will work,” the DoD added.
Viagra is still covered by TRICARE, the military’s health insurance system. Also covered under military insurance are “external vacuum appliances,” or penis pumps, “penile implants and testicular prostheses” and hormone injections to treat erectile dysfunction.
At $25 a pill, the amount of Viagra purchased by the Pentagon could have led to as many as 80,770 hours, 33 minutes, and 36 seconds of sexual enhancement, assuming that no erection lasted more than the medically advised four-hour maximum, the Free Beacon reported.