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No more Viagra: Pass the Pepto-Bismol

May 13, 2009

peptobismolGM and Chrysler employees will no longer receive unlimited, free Viagra, as the UAW “tightens its belt.” [Click here.]

Rocky notes that Ford and Chrysler consider the volume of employee Viagra consumption to be a trade secret, but GM disclosed that it spends $17 million per year on Viagra, which averages out to $150 for every one of their male employees. The HMO bulk price for Viagra is around $.50 per dose, which means that the “average” male GM employee pops the little blue pill an impressive 300 times each year!

Rocky ponders, do sleepy and exhausted workers help explain GM’s quality control problems?

Rocky understands the need to control health care costs, but he was dismayed to learn that the UAW agreed to cancel Nexium coverage too.

Nexium is the “purple pill” that offers 24-hour heartburn relief. There’s no shortage of heartburn amongst GM employees!

[CORRECTION/UPDATE: Rocky’s math assumed that 50% GM employees are male. Trophy Wife points out that, in reality, only 20% of GM employees are female [click here], which means that the “average” GM employee consumes Viagra “only” 189 times each year. Rocky thanks Trophy Wife for this correction.]

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  1. gi
    May 13, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    dude, you’re killing me!

  2. ld
    May 13, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Really funny! Does Rocky know of statistics of drug consumption by company by drug over time to correlate with fundamental history? What would the federal and state government numbers be like…. 🙂

  3. May 14, 2009 at 4:57 am

    LD: You raise a provocative question.

    For example, if a company has above-average use of high blood pressure/ulcer medication, does that correlate with an above-average stock performance? Does the use of ED or fertility drugs correlate with company performance? Does the cost of a health plan correlate with company performance? All good questions for a PhD dissertation at the Harvard Business School…

  4. ld
    May 14, 2009 at 6:19 am

    That study could be dangerous resulting in a prescription as condition for accepting a job?

    http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/jamais-cascio/open-future/me

    For some reason I remember hearing about some drugs being compulsory in the armed forces.

  5. Sam
    May 14, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Your post leads me to conclude that working at GM can, and most likely will, cause dysfunction in certain parts of the male anatomy.

    I wonder if this is a phenomenon related just to GM employees or all members of the UAW?

    Note to self never consider a job with GM.

  6. May 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Note to Sam:

    Presumably you are worried about dysfunction below the waist. GM executives have already provided ample proof of dysfunction above the neckline.

    But no worries about your working for GM: In a company with over 300,000 employees, their website shows only 27 professional openings, including a position for “Scrap Consignment Accounting.” (Scrap Consignment is probably the only growing business for GM.)

    See: http://www.gm.com/corporate/careers/jobsearch.jsp

  7. allocator
    May 17, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Hmmm, so it would seem that this Viagra-cancellation initiative could lead to other types of “job” losses. Will it never end?

    Funny how what goes around comes around. Now the end of “hard times” is a bad thing.

    Cheers,
    Allocator

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