Why did the Israeli army order 1,200 Viagra pills?

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 00.36.58From Haaretz:

Among the 105 tenders the Defense Ministry recently issued to procure items like tires, devices to warm the wounded, and sweet chili sauce, is a request for bids to supply the army with … Viagra.

Like other ministries, the Defense Ministry periodically publishes tenders in the daily press through the Government Advertising Bureau. One such tender recently published seeks 1,200 tablets of 100 mg. sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient in Viagra, to be used by Israel Defense Forces soldiers suffering from erectile dysfunction. The tender is signed by the Medical Corps, so the tablets are not meant for anyone other than IDF soldiers, such as Defense Ministry employees or people being served by the Rehabilitation Branch. Nor, apparently, is this the first time the ministry has sought price quotes for Viagra to be supplied to the military.

In 2005, an article appeared in the Hebrew journal Aviation and Space Medicine [Imma start reading that stat - ATD], published by the Aerospace Medicine Research Center, about a decision by the Israel Air Force to forbid their pilots from taking Viagra before flying, out of concern it could affect their color perception. The researchers recommended that no pilot should fly within six to eight hours after taking the drug.

The Defense Ministry responded that due to privacy issues, it could not comment.

Viagra was originally developed as a remedy for high blood pressure, but during tests conducted by the developers it was found to be effective in treating erectile dysfunction in men.

A previously published study by Israeli researches has demonstrated that the drug Cialis (from the same family of Viagra ) effectively deals with altitude sickness. According to results of a study conducted on 51 Israeli tourists climbing Mount Kenya or Kilimanjaro, those who incorporated Cialis in their treatment against altitude sickness reported suffering less from the effects of their high climb. According to details of the study, published in the Journal of Travel Medicine, more of those taking Cialis managed to reach the summit of the mountain.

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