For Immediate Release May 26, 2005Dear Governor Pataki: Your recent imposed ban on coverage of erectile dysfunction drugs by Federal and State funded programs are effectively lumping thousands of victims of crippling diseases of erectile dysfunction in with criminals. Viagra (and similar medications) are not a “lifestyle” drug for these men. Men already have great reluctance when it comes to paying attention to their health. This dissuades men from making the best treatment decisions with their doctor. If a patient is faced with the risk of impotence due to treatment from prostate cancer, (there are nearly 100,000 men in New York State currently diagnosed with prostate cancer) and erectile dysfunction drugs are not covered by Medicaid, he may opt for a less optimal treatment or choose to do nothing at all – putting his life in danger. There is no current evidence that ED drugs have increased or even enhanced sex crimes. But there is ample testimony from thousands of prostate cancer patients, state wide, that the hope inspired by the availability of ED drugs has them move forward with lifesaving treatment. We at Malecare ask that this ban be terminated immediately.
Darryl Mitteldorf, LCSW