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Cialis/Viagra post RP as "lifesyle" drug - who's advocating to change this

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2008

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.


Posts: 89
Joined: Jan 2007

I had my RP in December, 2006. As per what you said, I was told to take 1/2 pill of Cialis every other day. My doctor wanted me to take the pills this frequent because he claimed it help get blood to the nerve bundles after surgery. After three months, he had me take the pills only before having sex.

You are correct, insurance companies only give you a 1 month supply...which is nine pills. I was fortunate that I was able to obtain a successful erection within weeks of my operation.


Peter51's picture
Posts: 29
Joined: Nov 2004

I could write for hours about all my Viagra experiences in procurring it. It is a metter of great stress and embarrassment. The insurance companies limit how much I can buy even when I wish to pay full price!

Something should be done about the companies. If there is anything more I can do, let me know.


shipjim's picture
Posts: 137
Joined: Apr 2006

My question is does this stuff work for anyone, I've had no luck even though all the nerves were spared. These days it's just imagination and memory and even the memory is shrinking!

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