Torontonians Paid $1.9 Million for City Employees’ Erection Pills

City's fallen on some hard times.

Toronto taxpayers footed the bill for $1.9-million worth of city workers’ erectile dysfunction drug claims in 2015, according to a report from auditor general Beverly Romeo-Beehler.

The report revealed 37 claimants were reimbursed more than $3,000 in 2015 for erectile dysfunction pills such as Viagra and Cialis. In total, the city’s cost for such uh…performance-enhancing drugs spiked by 18 per cent from 2013 to 2015.

Beehler’s detailed report has raised (pun intended) some red flags for the city and its residents. In addition to the cost of erectile dysfunction drugs, Torontonians covered $3 million for prescription
opioids, sedatives, and stimulants in 2015.

Some key findings:

Controlled Substances

  • 16 claimants had an equivalent of two to five years’ supply of oxycodone
    in at least one year.
  • 32 claimants had an equivalent of 19 months to 6.7 years’ supply of
    Fentanyl patches in at least one year.
  • 44 claimants had the equivalent of two to six years’ supply of prescription
    sedatives in at least one year.
  • Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

  • The City has no maximum coverage limit for this type of drug.
  • 37 claimants were each reimbursed over $3,000 in 2015.
  • Five were each reimbursed over $5,000 in 2015.
  • Unusual Claims and Dispensing Patterns

  • 27 claimants were dispensed the same prescription opioid at different
    pharmacies on the same days.
  • 237 claimants made a second drug claim for a controlled substance at a
    different pharmacy within 7 days of an earlier claim for the same class of
    drug. Both claims were for at least 30 tablets.
  • 348 claimants were reimbursed for the same drug multiple times on the
    same dispensing days.
  • The auditor identified $750,000 in potential annual savings by capping Viagra and Cialis claims at $500 per year.

    A total of 18 recommendations from Romeo-Beehler’s report could save the city as much as $900,000 per year and an additional $180,000 in potential cost recovery.

    Personal use is all well and good, but that’s a lot of drugs. To borrow a question from Christian Bale’s Batman: Where were the other drugs going?

    Hard times, literally, for city workers while taxpayers are the ones getting boned.

     
    Image courtesy Michael Mayer via Flickr