Americans Taking Prescription Drugs in Greater Numbers

Here’s an indication of our declining health as a country, Americans buy more medicine per person than any other county in the world. Why aren’t we the healthiest country in the world? – Dr. A

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — For the first time, it appears that more than half of all insured Americans are taking prescription medicines regularly for chronic health problems, a study shows.

The most widely used drugs are those to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol — problems often linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

The numbers were gathered last year by Medco Health Solutions Inc., which manages prescription benefits for about one in five Americans.

Experts say the data reflect not just worsening public health but better medicines for chronic conditions and more aggressive treatment by doctors. For example, more people are now taking blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medicines because they need them, said Dr. Daniel W. Jones, president of the American Heart Association.

In addition, there is the pharmaceutical industry’s relentless advertising. With those factors unlikely to change, doctors say the proportion of Americans on chronic medications can only grow.

”Unless we do things to change the way we’re managing health in this country … things will get worse instead of getting better,” predicted Jones, a heart specialist and dean of the University of Mississippi’s medical school.

Americans buy much more medicine per person than any other country. But it was unclear how their prescriptions compare to those of insured people elsewhere. Comparable data were not available for Europe, for instance.

Read the whole article at the New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: May 14, 2008
Dr. Craig Anderson
craigandersondc.com

Chiropractic Gains Popularity with Seniors

The use of chiropractic is rocketing among older adults. According to a just-published survey of 2,055 Americans age 65 or older, 20% have visited an alternative care practitioner during the previous year. Most of these visits were to doctors of chiropractic. A total of 57% of subjects who used alternative therapies did not tell their medical provider that they had used such therapies.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2000;48:1560-1565.
http://www.amgeriatrics.com/

Dr. Craig Anderson
craigandersondc.com