Dec 5, 2016
How big pharma’s money is affecting our health and our wallets.
This guest post was created by Rebecca Hill at The Law Firm. At eMedCert, we strongly encourage all forms of guest posting. If you are interested in publishing your work on the eMedCert blog, please contact our editorial team at [email protected].
Americans place trust in their doctors to put their health first and profits second. However, the infographic below shines a light on how the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. are using their power to influence doctors to prescribe their products.
The Law Firm created “Profits Over People” – a detailed look into the $3.49 billion disclosed payments made by big pharma from August 2013 to December 2014.
Payments were made to doctors, teaching hospitals and various other companies throughout the U.S. Doctors in family medicine, pediatric critical care, orthopedic surgery, cardiovascular disease and neurological surgery earned the highest profits.
Also, a report from GlobalData found that 90% of these companies spent more on marketing than on research and development, with the top spender, Johnson & Johnson, investing more than double.
The impact on Americans:
Americans are now spending more per capita on prescription drugs than any other country in the world. The U.S. currently spends $1,112 – four times more than Mexico. Compared to Canada’s $772, and Switzerland’s $730, for example, it’s no surprise the U.S. filled 4.3 billion prescriptions in 2014.
Furthermore, in 2010, the U.S. accounted for just 5% of the world’s population but consumed 99% of the world’s hydrocodone and 88% of the world’s oxycodone.
All of this has had a significant impact on the health and finances of Americans – who have been pushed to take, on average, more than 12 prescription drugs each year.
The solution? A conservative prescribing approach, which was first outlined by Dr. Gordon Schiff. This approach recommends focusing on prevention in the form of lifestyle changes, strategic drug treatment, unbiased drug research, and patients education about the adverse effects of prescription drugs.
Check out the below infographic to learn more about the impact of big pharma on our health and wallets.
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