An Inclusive Litany

7/3/98

In a move that surprised and angered many state governors, the Department of Health and Human Services directed states to cover the wildly popular impotence drug Viagra under their Medicaid programs, which pay medical expenses for the poor and elderly. State officials noted that the order would put states in the untenable position of covering Viagra for men while virtually none of them cover birth control or infertility treatments for women, that the drug's adverse health effects were still unknown, and that it may result in a black market for subsidized pills. Critics predict the new policy will add $100 million to $200 million nationwide to states' Medicaid expenses.

[Ed.: The spokesperson at the Food and Drug Administration who fields inquiries about Viagra is named Janet Woodcock.]

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