Viagra Denied

Governor Sonny Perdue
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Gov. Sonny Perdue says people who can't afford their own Viagra shouldn't get government help buying it.

In a letter to Georgia's delegation in Congress, Perdue wrote that using Medicaid money for impotence drugs like Viagra, Levitra and Cialis is a, "inappropriate use of taxpayer money.

Georgia taxpayers spent more than $250,000 for about 1,500 Medicaid recipients to recive erectile dysfunction drugs over the past year or so.

Five of those recipients were registered sex offenders. Those numbers were released amid a national controversy over sex offenders receiving the drugs through Medicaid.

Georgia already has decided not to continue giving the drug to sex offenders.

A 1998 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decision says Medicaid should pay for the drugs when a doctor says they are needed.

Some medical experts call the governor's stance irresponsible, saying erectile dysfunction often is a symptom of serious health problems, such as spinal cord injuries, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.