The great TV news show expensive-pill push


From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association discusses an all-too-little noted reason for America’s bad but expensive health-care “system’’.

The research, by two Dartmouth professors of medicine, reports that marketing by drug makers and other health-care companies rose to almost $30 billion a year in 2016 (and is presumably higher now). It’s obvious that the plan was/is to steer ever-more patients and physicians toward treatments that are brand-new or at least still under patent and much more expensive and sometimes less effective, and indeed riskier, than long-established treatments, including generic drugs.

We all end up paying for this directly or indirectly, in co-pays, insurance premiums and taxes (for Medicare and Medicaid). Unfortunately, given how Washington is run, there’s no imminent cure for the greed of the health industry, and, to be fair, their many direct or indirect (pension funds) investors.

Perhaps the best place to see this often misleading marketing is during the nightly broadcast news shows, with their older and generally well-insured viewers. One ad after another for expensive new drugs! Many viewers are persuaded by the advertising to press their physicians to prescribe the new stuff for them immediately, which many doctors are more than happy to do to keep them satisfied.

To read the article, please hit this link.