“Drug Cost Concerns In 2012 America”
Half of the American population is on prescription medications. Prescription drugs can be vital in the prevention and treatment of illness but anything can be taken to dangerous extremes. Reportedly, last year over 4 billion pills were dispensed to a population of 330 million people. Many patients are taking multiple pills, with some taking dozens on a daily basis. Polypharmacy (taking multiple drugs) is pandemic in America. Television is saturated with drug advertisements, which have been run past focus groups, psychologists, marketers, etc. to get the best marketing bang for their buck. They are designed to get the viewing patient to request them from their doctor….and it works. On Dr. Oz’s TV show, a man said his wife has him taking 22 supplement pills daily. Drug sales are sky rocketing, with sales in 2009 exceeding $300 billion. Sales have climbed steadily since the 1990’s, usually with double digit annual growth. Yet, together, health plan denials and patient abandonment resulted in 14.4% of all new, commercial plan prescriptions going unfilled in 2009, up 5.5% from 2008.