High court: Viagra not on public insurance bill

High court: Viagra not on public insurance bill
No little blue wonder for the publicly insured. Photo: DPA
German state-regulated health insurance companies are not required to cover the cost of erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, according to a decision released by the country's high court on Wednesday.

The German Constitutional Court case addressed an appeal from a 62-year-old diabetic man who suffered from erectile dysfunction due to his illness. In 1999 the man tried unsuccessfully to bill his public health insurance for Viagra.

A lower social court had ruled the insurance should reimburse the man for costs through 2003, but not after 2004 because a new law beginning in January 2004 relinquished public health insurers from financial responsibility for all erectile dysfunction drugs.

According to the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe on Wednesday, this rule should remain intact. The court appeal was “ineligible” and without sufficient justification, the ruling stated.

The man had asserted his right to sound physical condition, alleging that his state insurance hadn’t provided care equal to that of a private insurer. The court decision said the man hadn’t addressed “the disputed decision of the social court or the corresponding jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.”