Viagra, Cialis and other erectile dysfunction drugs are costing General Motors Corp. a hefty sum.
The company spends $17-million (U.S.) annually on such drugs, said GM spokeswoman Sharon Baldwin.
Although that's a small fraction of GM's overall health care costs, which in 2005 were more than $5-billion, company executives often use the example to illustrate what they say are out-of-control health-care costs.
The world's largest auto maker lost $10.6-billion last year and says skyrocketing health-care costs are partly to blame. GM provides health care for 1.1 million employees, retirees and dependents.
Viagra is covered under GM's labour agreement with the United Auto Workers union, as well as benefit plans for salaried workers.
Think of how much more wisely this $17 million could have been spent, even under GM's sprawling benefits system. A relatively small sum, to be sure, but symptomatic of how the UAW and GM's continual surrender to its extortionate demands are about to destroy a corporation that was once as emblematic of American business in its time as Microsoft is now.
Like the infamous rubber room where GM pays people not to work. Even France doesn't have something this outrageous.