U.S. Healthcare Isn’t Broken–It’s Fixed, by Charles Hugh Smith

US health care spending (or more properly, overspending) is among the most inefficient and corrupt in the developed world. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Healthcare/sickcare will bankrupt the nation by itself.If you want to understand why the U.S. healthcare system is bankrupt, financially, morally and politically, then start with this representative anecdote from a U.S. physician. I received this report from correspondent J.F. on the topic of direct advertising of pharmaceutical products to the public (patients).
As background information, pharmaceutical companies were not allowed to advertise directly to consumers (patients) in the good old days. Now, as we all know, half the adverts on TV are for pharmaceutical products, and many of the remaining half are advertising lawsuits relating to pharmaceutical products that harmed or injured the patients who received them (or clamored for them as a result of endless direct-to-consumer adverts).
Here is J.F.’s report:
This morning, I read a report on augmentation of antidepressants. It seems folks who get a little better, but not a lot better on an antidepressant may improve if a drug in the class of second generation antipsychotics is added. Three of these drugs have been tested, with pretty much equivalent benefit – quetiapine, aripiprazole, and brexpiprazole. As the names suggest, the last two are very similar in chemical structure.
– quetianpine and aripiprazole are available in cheap generic for. Brexpiprazole is not, it’s sold only as branded Rexulti.
– shortly after reading the piece, I walked past the waiting room TV which was playing an ad urging folks to “ask your doctor about Rexulti”.
– lowest costs for a month’s supply in my neighborhood, courtesy of goodrx.com:
quetiapine – $6.80
aripiprazole – $22.60
Rexulti – $1,120.20 (!)
– so the ad is urging folks to “ask their doctor” about a drug that is 16,473% more expensive than a similar drug that may work just as well.

One response to “U.S. Healthcare Isn’t Broken–It’s Fixed, by Charles Hugh Smith

  1. If you want to understand why our medical system is so expensive look at the politicians, lawyers and do gooders. Who do you think pays for all the illegals at the emergency wards? Why do you think doctors order 43 tests for a proceedure if they can sued for millions? Why do juries award outrageous awards for mistaken judgement rather than malfeasance or stupidity? Surgery is an art not a science.

    Finally our politicians will not defend patent rights so Americans bear the cost of drug development while our friends and allies tell our pharma companies to go blow. The government also makes so many regulations that many critical sectors are undermanned because of the threat of government regulation of lawfare.


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