(FREEBEACON) — Taxpayers paid nearly $175 million for vacuum erection systems (VES), commonly known as “penis pumps,” from 2006 to 2011, according to an inspector general report released on Monday.

The federal government paid more than double the retail price for VES, the Department of Health and Human Services IG found. Medicare prices for the systems, the report said, “remain grossly excessive compared with the amounts that non-Medicare payers pay.”

Medicare paid 473,620 VES claims during calendar years 2006 through 2011, according to the IG report.

Health care policy experts said the revelations in the IG report are a troubling indication of what they describe as wasteful spending in federal health programs.

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