Last year, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer sold Viagra in more than 120 countries. The company’s CEO described the drug as a “cultural phenomenon,” noting that it has fundamentally changed people’s attitudes towards sex. As a result, more and more men are seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction, and many are turning to online pharmacies to obtain their medication.

Although the drug is highly effective, it is not always easy for men to get their hands on a few pills. One of the major pharmacies that specializes in online pharmaceuticals, Viagra Supermarket, reports that approximately 90% of their customers are from the US. And a surprising number of those men live in Michigan. If you’re from the Wolverine state and are seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction, how much is Viagra without insurance? We examined state trends, pricing, and co-payments to find an answer.

Trends In Michigan And The US

In 2017, there were 17,600,000 prescriptions written for Viagra, making it the most prescribed drug in the world. And the trend looks like it will continue. In the first three months of 2018, there were already 4,600,000 prescriptions written (Wikieleaks Pharmacy Data).

In 2017, the prevalence of erectile dysfunction in the US was 25.7%, according to the American Association of Sexuality Educators. This is compared to 22% in 2011 and 19% in 2015. That’s a lot of men with sex problems.

It’s a problem that’s been around for decades and one that gets worse as people get older. A 2017 study from UCLA’s┬áDivision of Gerontology found that almost 80% of men suffering from erectile dysfunction were 45 years of age or older. The study noted that the condition became more common with each passing year, with men in their 40s, 50s, and 60s also experiencing difficulties achieving erections. And it was often a mixed bag of issues that led up to this point. Many men had physical issues like diabetes or heart disease that made it harder for them to achieve or maintain an erection. On the other side, some men had psychological issues that made them more vulnerable to developing erectile dysfunction. This included anxiety, depression, or substance abuse.

To combat this issue, pharmaceutical companies have worked to create a wide array of medications and treatments for erectile dysfunction, with varying degrees of success. In the past few years, Viagra remains among the most popular drugs for treating the condition. With its Sildenafil citrate ingredient, men can take advantage of increased blood flow into the penis, which in turn increases the rate at which they achieve and maintain an erection. For some men, Viagra can be a game changer, allowing them to have enjoyable sex sessions with their partners.

Although the drug’s popularity is clearly on the rise, it is not without controversy. In the past, the Food and Drug Administration has warned that Viagra can cause heart attacks and strokes in some men, particularly those who also take nitrates, which are found in various prescription medications, including nitroglycerin. The FDA has also cautioned that taking Viagra within 24 hours of taking nitrates can increase the risk of adverse effects. And for some men, the side effects of Viagra can be serious enough that they need to be hospitalized. Even so, most physicians and patients agree that the benefits of the medication far outweigh the risks.

Prices, Co-payments, And OTC Sales

While the exact number of prescriptions written for Viagra is unclear, it is safe to assume that the majority of those pills were likely purchased from a physician. And just like any other medication, the cost of Viagra varies by insurance company, co-payment amounts, and whether it’s an over the counter (OTC) drug or a prescription medication. Because the average price of a 30-day supply of Viagra is $533.20, it is classified as a 5-star medication according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Price Promise program.

OTC drugs are usually sold at large grocery stores and pharmacy chains. This is commonly due to the fact that pharmaceutical companies do not want to have to negotiate prices with individual retailers. Hence, the medication is typically cheaper at a large-scale retailer because they can spread the cost over a larger customer base. But even with this, OTC drugs can still be extremely pricey. For instance, the recommended dosage of Vigora, a generic alternative to Viagra, is $20 per month, plus a $30 copayment.

Some men have complained about these exorbitant prices, particularly since they are often presented to them without any discounts or in-network insurance plans. As a result, they have to foot the bill themselves, which in some cases can leave them with serious financial hardship. One Reddit user posted a thread, stating that they were facing bankruptcy due to the high cost of their prescription medications. Others have posted about being able to get a partial discount from their insurance company but still having to pay a large chunk of money out of pocket. And even with these discounts, the cost of the medications can put a serious dent in a person’s finances.

However, not all insurance companies charge such high premiums for medications. For instance, Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the major insurance providers in the US, and their online pharmacy tends to offer a wealth of medication discounts for patients with certain illnesses, such as erectile dysfunction. In some cases, they will even give you a coupon for free medications. So although it can be costly to purchase medications from a retail pharmacy, it is not always the case that you will be overcharged by an insurance company. Just make sure you ask about any discounts you might qualify for.

What About The Future?

Although Viagra is a transformative drug for some men, it is certainly not a cure-all. Much like with any other medication, it can be improved upon through therapeutic use and with further research into its exact mechanisms of action. Similarly, some men with erectile dysfunction might benefit from receiving treatments other than medication, such as surgeries or implants. However, for many others, especially the more elderly, Viagra might still be the answer to their prayers.

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