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MO paid for Viagra for some sex offenders; IL didn't

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KWMU.
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Missouri State Capitol.

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO. – Missouri is acknowledging that the state helped cover the cost of Viagra and similar drugs for 26 registered sex offenders in the past year.

The Social Services department checked Medicaid records after the federal government clarified a rule that led several states to believe the funding was required.

Officials in New York State first raised the issue, after finding about 200 sex offenders there got Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra in 2000.

Missouri's Medicaid program covered $7,000 worth of impotence prescriptions for sex offenders last year. The state's share was $2,000, with the federal government covering the rest.

Missouri's policy has changed. Existing Viagra prescriptions for sex offenders won't be refilled, and new prescriptions will be checked against the sex offender registry.

Official in Illinois also said this week they hadn't found any records showing they had paid for the drugs in that state.

The New York comptroller's office said audits from 2000 through March 2005 found 198 sex offenders there received Medicaid reimbursements for Viagra.

Florida's Attorney General Charlie Crist also recently announced that Medicaid in that state had paid $93,000 to provide Viagra to 218 sex offenders.

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