Affordable Health Care & Prescription Drugs

An interesting article in the New York Times explains how many people are cutting back on their prescription drugs as the economy sours.  Some interesting facts from the article include:

  • From 1997 to 2007 there has been a 72% increase in prescriptions filled
  • The average number of prescriptions filled per person has increased from 8.9 per year to 12.6 per year over the last 10 years
  • The U.S. spends more than any other country on prescription drugs: $286 billion last year
While prescription drugs are important in many health conditions, they are over-prescribed in many cases. Too often, people are simply taking too many drugs.  This is good for drug companies.  Their CEOs have the responsibility to company shareholders to maximize revenue and profits.  This is not so good for patients, the state of our healthcare system, or for the economy.
When patients have no insurance, the costs of prescription medications is often startling.  Many people don’t have drug coverage on their insurance and even people that do pay for their prescription medications through skyrocketing insurance premiums and escalating deductibles.
In many cases, the need for prescription medications can be averted with simple lifestyle changes.  In other cases a careful review of medications can help prioritize the current list and reduce the daily number of pills in a medically safe and sound way.
Natural and alternative medicines are often far less expensive than prescription drugs and provide an option that can provide results equivalent to prescription medicines and frequently fewer side effects.  Many natural approaches have beneficial side effects that reduce long-term disease risk and improve quality of life.
In any case, reducing your prescription medicine costs can be done safely with a practitioner that uses smart medicine.

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