Which States Fill the Most (and Fewest) Prescriptions for Erectile Dysfunction Drugs?

Tori Marsh
Tori Marsh, MPH, is on the Research Team at GoodRx, and is the resident expert on drug pricing and savings.
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Over the past year, both Cialis and Viagra went generic, making erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs less expensive. This got us wondering, as more men are able to afford their ED drugs, which states are filling the most prescriptions for them?

As it turns out, since January 2018, 0.24% of all prescription fills nationwide have been for erectile dysfunction medications: Viagra, generic sildenafil, Cialis and Levitra. Notably, states in the Northeast and on the West Coast are filling as much as 120% more ED prescriptions than the national average.

 

 

Here are the top 10 states with most prescriptions for ED medications:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Connecticut
  4. Vermont
  5. New York
  6. Minnesota
  7. Rhode Island
  8. California
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. New Jersey

These 10 states account for a third of all ED medication fills nationwide.

 

What’s going on?

There seems to be an odd pattern in the map. Why would states in the Northeast see such high fills for ED drugs, while fills in Utah and states in the South stay low? And why would fills in Florida be so high? Likely, much of this can be attributed to the average age of a state.

Erectile dysfunction can occur as a result of certain lifestyle choices, neurological disorders and side effects of medications, but research confirms that older age is one of the main contributors. According to research published in The Journal of Urology, the rate of erectile dysfunction increased with each decade of age among men in the study.

Data from the American Community Survey shows that northeastern states like Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire have relatively high median ages, while Utah has the youngest median age of all states—a trend that tracks closely to fill rates for ED drugs.

 

 

High fills in the Northeast

States in the Northeast see the highest percentage of prescription fills for ED drugs. Fills for erectile dysfunction drugs account for more than 0.4% of all prescription fills in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Similarly, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont have some of the oldest populations in the country with median ages of 39.5, 40.9, 40.2 and 43.1, respectively.

 

Low fills in the South, except for Florida

Drugs for erectile dysfunction are not as popular in the South, and account for less than 0.18% of all fills in most of these states. However, Florida is an outlier in this region, with ED drugs accounting for 0.25% of all fills.

This comes as no surprise considering Florida’s large retired population. According to the American Community Survey, Florida’s median age is 42.1, making the Sunshine State the fifth oldest state in the country.

 

Above average fills in the West, except for Utah

Some states in the West, particularly California and Nevada, have relatively higher fill rates for erectile dysfunction drugs. California, for instance, has the seventh highest fill rate in the country as fills account for 0.38% of the state’s prescription fills.

Utah, while also on the West, doesn’t fit this mold and has the lowest rate of fills for ED drugs in the country. Coincidentally, Utah is also the youngest state in the country, with a median age of 30.7.

Where does your state fall?

 


 

This data is based on a representative sample of US prescriptions fills (not GoodRx fills) for Viagra, sildenafil, Cialis and Levitra from January 2018 through September 2018. This data comes from several sources, including pharmacies and insurers.

Co-contributors: Jeroen van Meijgaard, PhD and Clement B. Feyt, MPH

 

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