The use of Viagra has grown more than threefold among younger men, says a study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research. The study, by Express Scripts, is the first to profile trends in the use of Viagra using prescription claim information. The study examined Viagra use among more than 5 million insured adults 18 years and older from 1998 to 2002. The fastest growing segments of users were found to be men 18 to 45 years and 46 to 55 years, who experienced increases in use of 312% and 216%, respectively, over the study period.
In contrast with greater use among younger men, growth in use slowed among women and older men. With healthcare resources becoming more scarce, debate continues over lifestyle medications such as Viagra. “Already concerned with the impact Viagra has had on their pharmacy budgets, health plan sponsors now face the prospect of increased use among a younger, healthier generation of patients,” said Tom Delate, lead author of the study. “In addition, marketing approval of other erectile dysfunction drugs, such as Levitra and Cialis, will likely increase utilization of such drugs.”