Pressure mounts to stop state, federal coverage for ED drugs

June 17, 2005

The Alabama Medicaid Agency said last week it will no longer approve phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction.

The Alabama Medicaid Agency said last week it will no longer approve phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction. The drugs will be approved only for patients who have severe pulmonary hypertension.

The agency's action follows its recent decision to deny coverage of PDE-5 inhibitors to registered sex offenders.

"Even though it was a relatively small amount of money, this is not where we want to be," Alabama Medicaid spokesperson Mary Finch told the Montgomery Advertiser.

Meanwhile, at the federal level, Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) said he would draft legislation to remove erectile dysfunction drugs from Medicare and Medicaid coverage, according to an Associated Press report. Deal is chairman of a health subcommittee that is looking at ways to save money in the Medicaid program.

States are allowed to define what is "medically necessary," and some states, including Texas, have already determined PDE-5 inhibitors are not, Deal said.