America’s Healthcare Crisis, -What Do We Get for All That Money?- Part II

October 7, 2012

07 Oct (AHRP) –  What Do We Get for All That Money?  A preventable epidemic of injury and death from prescription drugs.  FDA’s contribution to the epidemic; Big Pharma’s business model:  manufactured myths, propaganda and a hidden agenda. According to the Kaiser Foundation:[1]

  • The number of prescriptions filled in the US increased 72% from 1997 to 2007.
  • US prescriptions rose to 3.9 billion in 2009 and sales reached $300.3 billion.
  • Pharma profits have been in the double digits since 1995—far surpassing Fortune 500 companies.

In 2009, pharmaceutical companies raked in the highest profit ever, 19.8%.   However, those corporate profits were not earned by producing therapeutically beneficial medicines that cured disease or improved Americans’ health. Indeed, Americans would be shocked to learn that the staggering expenditure for prescription drugs—in most cases—did not get them treatments that improved their health.  Analysis of FDA drug approvals demonstrates that only 1 in 10 new drugs offers clinical benefits for patients compared to existing much cheaper drugs. In his book, The Risks of Prescription Drugs (2010),[2] Dr. Donald Light analyzed the data for new FDA-approved drugs over the last twenty years and found that only 2%-3% represent a real clinical breakthrough and another 11% offer some advantage over existing drugs. His findings confirm numerous independent reviews—including industry assessments (1996)[3] that found only 11% of new drugs (1974-1994) were therapeutically and pharmacologically innovative.

Polypharmacy: the prescribing of multiple drugs in untested “cocktail” combinations of antipsychotics and SSRI antidepressants has become the “norm and practice” in psychiatry. Psychiatrists from Johns Hopkins and Columbia University examined “National Trends in Psychotropic Medication Polypharmacy in Office-Based Psychiatry,”(2010) [4] and found that 60% of patients seeing a psychiatrist received at least two prescriptions for psychotropic drugs, and 33% received three or more prescriptions. This was a median 40% increase between 1996 and 2006. Prescriptions were for two or more antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedative-hypnotics, and antidepressant-antipsychotic combinations.

For more on this article go to AHRP.org

See also  Part I: The Whole System is Broken

                 Part III: The Untouchable Third Rail of Healthcare-The Vaccine

                Part IV:FDA, A Complicit Partner in Crimes and Corrupt Industry Practices

   

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