Pentagon spends more than $80m on drugs to tackle erectile dysfunction

Military Times says the US Department of Defence spent $41.3m on Viagra alone

There’s no way to put this other than to come out with it straight: the Pentagon spent an awful lot of money last year on drugs to help erectile disfunction.

A report in the Military Times said the US Department of Defence spent a total of $82.24m (£53.57m) on such treatments, including $41.3m on Viagra alone. It had previously been reported that the department had spent around $500,000.

The newspaper said that since 2011, the bill for treatments for for military personnel had cost $294m, the equivalent of nearly four US Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. It based its report on data from the Defence Health Agency, a military agency.

Viagra was just one of many drugs on which the Pentagon spent a total of m last year

A report published in September found that the incidence rate of erectile dysfunction (ED) among active-duty personnel more than doubled from 2004 to 2014.

Researchers at the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Centre found that the overall incidence rate of ED climbed from 5.8 cases per 1,000 in 2004 to 12.6 cases in 2013, or more than 1 per cent of the total population, the newspaper said.

The report said that more than half of those were classified as “psychogenic”, meaning the dysfunction was related to psychiatric rather than physical causes.

A number of factors can contribute to ED, from mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, to medications for treating physical and mental conditions as well as injuries, illness and aging.