Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Drug Expenditure Report Highlights Health Issues

news you may not knowIs This A Problem?

Let's see if we can make some sense of this.

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) recently released figures on prescription drug usage for 2004. MEPS, a part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, compiles extensive statistical data from private and industry sources on health services availability and utilization. They dig deep and make their findings available to all interested parties.

The figures for 2004 prescription drug use tell an all too familiar tale.

Let's just look at the adults for now, those 18-64. During 2004, the U.S. adults spent:

$4.88 billion on Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering medication

$2.67 billion on Nexium, a proton-pump inhibitor (to treat heartburn)

$2.42 billion on Prevacid, a proton-pump inhibitor (to treat heartburn)

$2.25 billion on Zocor, a cholesterol-lowering medication

$1.90 billion on Zoloft, an antidepressant

The expenditure for these five drugs, $14.1 billion, represents 12.2% of the total amount adults spent on drugs for the entire year.

What do these figures tell us? Hmm...

We're eating our ways to early graves, but we're helping pharmaceutical companies thrive. It's an odd approach to life, don't you think?

This is not surprising news. Every day a new report highlights the dilemma of living in a prosperous nation, without the willpower to fight our own appetites. Toss in the Wall Street marketing maniacs and we seem to have little chance. Unless...

We pay attention to our bodies, make reasonable, not draconian, choices about food and fitness, and join the resistance. The resistance? Yes, the resistance against the philosophy that more is better - richer, gooier, heavier is better.

Try some simple, whole foods. You know, things like fruits and vegetables. Who knows - you may actually stumble across a new lifestyle as you wander the produce section...

To read a summary of the report, see this from Reuters. To view the full report (PDF), see this from MEPS. To learn more about eating whole, health foods, see this from The World's Healthiest Foods.


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