School Bans Viagra When 1,000 Teachers Prescribed Erectile Dysfunction Drug

Although 89 teachers were reinstated, "it impacts what happens in the classroom and individual attention for students," he said. "We have seen increasing property tax rates in the past several years. When they saw the costs, one has to reconsider."

"These drugs were identified as recreational, as opposed to a medical necessity," said Walzak.

But other men take exception. Texas divorcee Paul Franco said the erectile dysfunction drug Levitra saved his mental health. Ten years ago, as a stressed-out car salesman, he had difficulty performing.

"It caused my divorce," said Franco, 61. "My wife kept saying, 'How come you don't love me anymore?"

"I was wondering why I can't have an erection with my wife," said Franco, a father of five. "I have a beautiful wife."

Now, his insurance covers his Levitra and he has a girlfriend. 'I feel great," said Franco, who now sells insurance. "I feel 100 percent better."

Franco said he cannot understand why Milwaukee teachers can't have the same benefit, especially considering the stress they face daily in the classroom.

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"It definitely sounds unfair to me because of the male teachers," he said. "You hear about a lot of stuff going on in school these days. I bet you have a bunch of teachers where the marriages go wrong. Having a sexless marriage doesn't work at all."

Insurance plans generally cover prescription drug treatments for erectile dysfunction, according to Susan Pisano, spokeswoman for America's Health Insurance Plans.

"The underlying principle is if you want something covered and it's not outright harmful, typically it's covered, if the purchaser is willing to pay for it," she said.

State laws vary in what coverage they can mandate -- emergency room care, for example -- and the new federal health care law will also determine new requirements. Even prescription drug coverage is not universally required by law.

"Some employers purchase a health plan more or less off the shelf, and others want to have something more tailored to their needs," said Pisano. "Where there is not a state law, the employer's decision plays heavily into it."

How many in a group plan use a prescription drug can affect the employer's costs.

"It may be that a drug for a very rare disease costs a lot of money and is not used that much and something less expensive is used more extensively," she said. "Drug costs are going to keep going up and hospitals, doctors and employers are going to face tough choices."

But the American Urological Association says these drugs are medically appropriate for erectile dysfunction, and with more than one-third of all Americans obese, some doctors agree.

"Look at demographics of our society," said Dr. Robert Davis, clinical professor of urology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "Erectile dysfunction goes with hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome with a waist over 40 inches in men and high cholesterol. There is an obesity crisis in this country and a third of Americans are overweight."

As for those who may use these drugs recreationally, Davis said doctors have no way of knowing whose claim is legitimate -- and he said the school district probably does not either.

The Viagra Wars: Milwaukee Teachers Fight for Insurance Coverage

"I don't knowingly prescribe them that way, but patients can present stories and manipulate us," Davis said. "We have no truth serum and have to accept stories as they are related."

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