Aug 25, 2008 - 10:37 am
Many of us taking Cialis/Viagra/Levitra after radical prostatectomy have been prescribed these drugs as part of the therapy necessary to restore sexual function after surgery. The course of treatment calls for 10mg (half a pill) every other day - that works out to 15 pills per month. Yet most prescription insurance plans will provide no more than 6 or 8 pills per month because these are "lifestyle" drugs. It is no coincidence that these drugs happen to be very expensive. Many men resort to online sources to buy knockoffs of these drugs from India at dramatically lower prices, but they are not FDA approved, could contain other substances, inaccurate dosages, etc. as with any blackmarket drug.
Though I naturally bristle at the idea of anyone (especially a for profit insurance company) dictating what I can do or limiting my activities, for the man with diabetes, high blood pressure, or the like, I can understand the insurance companies' reticence to pay for twice a week potency. But for those of us who have been prescribed these meds as post-op therapy, the rationale is completely different. I view it no differently than rationing post-op physical therapy. If the condition is surgically induced, it is a theraputic prescription and not a lifestyle prescription.
My question is who is advocating to get this changed with insurance companies, or more likely Congress which will force them to change this policy. I have seen several groups lobbying for more or equal research funding, but nothing on this issue. Hanging out on other boards, I've seen that this is a widespread problem.
I am 9 months post robotic RP, dx at age 46 with gleason 3+4, T2C, clear margins post-op.