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The Cost-Effectiveness of Sildenafil

Kenneth J. Smith, MD; and Mark S. Roberts, MD, MPP
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Center for Research on Health Care, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Requests for Single Reprints: Kenneth J. Smith, MD, Department of Medicine, Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, 1400 Locust Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219; e-mail, ksmith@pmhs.mercy.org.

Requests To Purchase Bulk Reprints (minimum, 100 copies): the Reprints Coordinator; phone, 215-351-2657; e-mail, reprints@mail.acponline.org.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Smith: Department of Medicine, Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, 1400 Locust Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

Dr. Roberts: Center for Research on Health Care, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: K.J. Smith, M.S. Roberts.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: K.J. Smith, M.S. Roberts.

Drafting of the article: K.J. Smith.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: K.J. Smith, M.S. Roberts.

Final approval of the article: K.J. Smith, M.S. Roberts.

Collection and assembly of data: K.J. Smith.

Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(12):933-937. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-132-12-200006200-00002
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Coverage of sildenafil (Viagra, Pfizer, Inc., New York, New York) by third-party payers is a contentious issue (14). Sildenafil treatment is effective for erectile dysfunction (57), but it is costly (13) and may lead to serious illness and death when used by men with cardiac conditions, particularly those with coronary artery disease who are taking nitrate medications (810). Because erectile dysfunction is not a life-threatening illness, some authors have questioned the appropriateness of insurance coverage for sildenafil given its costs and potential for harm and abuse (1, 3, 1012). Some insurance plans in the United States and in other countries restrict coverage of sildenafil therapy to men who fall within strictly defined criteria, and some do not cover it at all (2, 1314).

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Summary for Patients

The Cost-Effectiveness of Sildenafil (Viagra)

The summary below is from the full report titled “The Cost-Effectiveness of Sildenafil.” It is in the 20 June 2000 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 132, pages 933-937). The authors are K.J. Smith and M.S. Roberts.


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