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Court rules insurers don't have to pay for Viagra

By Christopher Cottrell, CNN
March 8, 2012 -- Updated 1455 GMT (2255 HKT)
A German court has ruled that insurers don't have to pay for for Viagra or other sexual performance enhancing drugs.
A German court has ruled that insurers don't have to pay for for Viagra or other sexual performance enhancing drugs.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A court has ruled that insurers don't have to pay for sexual performance enhancement drugs
  • A man suffering from multiple sclerosis wanted erectile dysfunction drugs
  • German health reforms in 2004 said insurers don't have to pay for "quality of life" medications

Berlin (CNN) -- Insurers in Germany are not obligated to pay for Viagra or other sexual performance enhancing drugs, the country's federal social court has ruled.

The decision Tuesday stemmed from the case of a man with multiple sclerosis who insisted his insurance company reimburse him for the cost of treating his erectile dysfunction, a potential side effect of the neurological disease.

But the court ruled that insurers have no responsibility to pay for any "quality of life" drugs and that an insurer's refusal to do so was in no way discriminatory, even if the person in question suffered from an incurable disease.

During the proceedings, defendants cited reforms to the country's health care system that were pushed through in 2004, under which insurance companies were exempt from paying for medication that primarily treated "quality of life" conditions. The list included medicines for treating impotence.

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