Montreal

La Prairie man calls on Quebec to fund erectile dysfunction treatment

"I know that it's a taboo," said Claude Boivin, who has suffered from erectile dysfunction since he had his cancerous prostate removed in 2015. He spends $350 monthly on treatment, an expense that he says many men can't afford.

Erectile dysfunction a common side effect of prostate cancer treatment, but treatment not covered by RAMQ

Claude Boivin had his prostate removed after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015. He has gone public with his struggle with erectile dysfunction because he says treating it is not covered by RAMQ, and it should be. (Submitted by Claude Boivin)

Claude Boivin is asking the Quebec government to cover the costs of treating erectile dysfunction.

The man from La Prairie, on Montreal's South Shore, had his prostate removed after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015 and has been struggling with erectile dysfunction (ED) ever since.

"I know that it's a taboo. There's a stigma around it," Boivin told CBC Montreal's Daybreak. "But we have to get around this."

Boivin said he spends $350 a month to treat his ED. None of the cost is covered by Quebec's health insurance board (RAMQ), even though the ED is a result of his cancer treatment, and the medication to treat it is prescribed by his doctor.

"The first time I went to fill that prescription, even the pharmacist was surprised," said Boivin. "He said, 'Oh, how come that's not covered?'"

While Boivin said he can afford the treatments, many people in his situation cannot.

That's why he submitted a petition to the National Assembly, calling on the government to cover the costs of treating ED.

A spokesperson for the province's Health Ministry said the ministry is sympathetic to Boivin's situation, especially since it was a consequence of cancer. 

The ministry says it will ask RAMQ to review its file for treatment of erectile dysfunction to see how much making the changes would cost and how many men are affected. 

With files from CBC Montreal Daybreak

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