I’m sure you’ve by now heard of the Kentucky state legislator who has filed a bill requiring a note from the wife of any man seeking a Viagra prescription. Rep. Mary Lou Marzian says the legislation,
…is merely an effort to protect men’s health and ensure they are informed about a drug with potentially dangerous side effects.
“I want to protect these men from themselves,” said Marzian, a nurse.
Well of course! Marzian, who is pro-choice, is merely echoing what we ladies hear from male politicians telling us we need to get transvaginal ultrasounds before obtaining an abortion, and abortion clinics must meet higher surgical standards than many plastic surgery suites, etc. It’s all for our own good.
HB 396 also specifies that only married men may obtain the drug and requires “a man to make a sworn statement with his hand on a Bible that he will only use a prescription for a drug for erectile dysfunction when having sexual relations with his current spouse.”
“This is about family values,” Marzian said.
Hard to argue with that one, right? Aren’t Republicans concerned about the American family?
So I was absolutely thrilled to learn that Tennessee’s Rep. Sherry Jones has her own “Viagra bill” making its way through the legislature, and that it apparently passed out of the insurance and banking committee and will move on to the health subcommittee. It already has a sponsor in the Senate, by the way.
HB 1927 reads, in part:
Before issuing a prescription for a drug intended to treat symptoms of erectile dysfunction, a physician shall:
(i) Obtain from the patient a notarized affidavit in which at least one of the patient’s sexual partners affirms that the patient has experienced symptoms of erectile dysfunction during the ninety (90) days preceding the affidavit’s date, if he has never been married, emancipated by a court, or otherwise freed from the care, custody, and control of his parents;
(ii) Conduct a cardiac stress test and obtain a result, described in writing, indicating that the patient’s cardiac health is compatible with sexual activity;
(iii) Notify the patient in writing of the potential risks and complications associated with taking drugs intended to treat erectile dysfunction, as well as provide alternatives to erectile dysfunction medications, counseling regarding erectile dysfunction, and possible physical and psychological risks of taking erectile dysfunction medications, and obtain the patient’s signature on a form acknowledging the patient’s receipt of the notification; […]
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. You know men never read directions or label warnings. Someone needs to help these poor dears. ED is a known “red flag” for heart disease, the number one killer of American men, after all.
There’s more. To get a refill, under this legislation, the ED patient has a few more hoops to jump through:
(A) Require the patient to be seen in-person by the physician in an office visit for prescribing each refill;
(B) Require the patient to undergo a cardiac stress test every ninety (90) days while the patient is taking the drug to ensure that the patient’s cardiac health continues to be compatible with sexual activity; and
(C) Require the patient to attend three (3) sessions of outpatient counseling within a period of not less than six (6) months after the drug initially is prescribed to ensure the patient’s understanding of the dangerous side effects of drugs intended to treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction and which counseling includes information on nonpharmaceutical treatments for erectile dysfunction, including sexual counseling and resources for patients to pursue celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice. […]
Again, all perfectly reasonable, don’t you think? According to a recent study,
If every man with erectile dysfunction were screened for heart disease, more than a million events like heart attack or stroke could be avoided over 20 years and more than $21 billion saved, according to a new estimate.
Why, this legislation is a virtual life-saver! But wait, there’s more:
SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 8, Chapter 27, Part 2, is amended by adding the following as a new section to be appropriately designated:
The group insurance plan for employees under this part shall not cover drugs intended to treat erectile dysfunction as a benefit.
SECTION 3. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 9-4-5116, is amended by designating the existing language as subsection (a) and adding the following as a new subsection (b):
(b) No state funds shall be expended to pay for drugs prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction unless the expenditure for the drug is required by federal law. SECTION 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016, the public welfare requiring it.
Well, this all seems to make perfect sense to me. I think we should insist that the male citizens of Tennessee be protected and fully informed about these dangerous ED drugs. What could possibly be wrong with them receiving information, be required to get regular cardiac screening, and prevent the people of the State of Tennessee from paying for them?
What do you say, ladies?