Should your doctor tell you to lose weight?

  • The total costs in the U.S. for direct health care treatment for chronic health conditions totaled $1.1 trillion in 2016—equivalent to 5.8 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

    Chronic diseases also lead to indirect costs—defined as lost income and reduced economic productivity—for the individuals suffering from the conditions, their family caregivers, and the overall economy.

    In 2016, diseases caused by obesity and being overweight accounted for 47.1 percent of the total cost of chronic diseases in the U.S.— responsible for $480.7 billion in direct health care costs, plus $1.24 trillion in indirect costs related to lost economic productivity.

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The truth about health care in the U.S.

  • Despite the emphasis on prescription drug costs they still only account for $. 11 of every health care dollar spent.
  • Even if ALL prescription drugs were free our health care costs will still be growing rapidly.
  • DTC advertising does not lead to patients asking for and getting “unnecessary drugs”.
  • Physicians are just as responsible for the opiod crisis.

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Are we losing the war against depression?

    • Depression is on the rise in the United States. From 2005 to 2015, depression rose significantly among Americans age 12 and older with the most rapid increases seen in young people. This is the first study to identify trends in depression by gender, income, and education over the past decade.

      • An estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults.
      • The prevalence of major depressive episode was higher among adult females (8.5%) compared to males (4.8%).

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ASCO: More about investors than patients?

  • The global market for oncology therapeutic medicines will reach as much as $200 billion by 2022, averaging 10 to 13 percent growth over the next five years, with the U.S. market reaching as much as $100 billion by 2022, averaging 12 to 15 percent growth.
  • Spending on cancer drugs has doubled over the past five years.
  • The average cost of a new drug released in 2017 was $150,000.
  • Cancer drug costs are expected to double again by 2022.
  • While cancer rates and rates of death have been steadily dropping, drug spending will go up.

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The increase in cancer drug prices is harming our patients and our health care system

  • Americans paid twice as much as Canadians for health care, but they didn’t get twice the benefit, according to a new study of patients with advanced colorectal cancer who lived, in some cases, mere miles from each other.
  • The increase in cancer drug prices in the last 15 years has many contributing factors and is harming our patients and our health care system.
  • With typical out-of-pocket expenses of 20% to 30%, the financial burden of cancer treatment would be $20,000 to 30,000 a year, nearly half of the average annual household income in the United States. Many patients (estimated 10% to 20%) may decide not to take the treatment or may compromise significantly on the treatment plan. Source: Journal of Oncology Practice

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Putting drug prices in the spotlight misses the big picture

  • Despite the media’s attention to high drug prices our national healthcare costs are going to continue to climb rapidly.
  • Spending on ambulatory care, which includes ER and outpatient hospital services, also played a role in increased overall costs. Annual spending on ambulatory care swelled from $381.5 billion in 1996 to $706.4 billion in 2013. This increase, about $324 billion, was higher than any of the other five types of care analyzed.
  • A survey revealed that only 20.6 percent of people met the total recommended amounts of exercise — about 23 percent of all surveyed men and 18 percent of surveyed women.
  • Medical costs linked to obesity were estimated to be $147 billion in 2008. Annual medical costs for people who were obese were $1,429 higher than those for people of normal weight in 2006.

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What’s three more months of life worth?

  • The cost of new anti-cancer drugs increased more than fivefold from 2006 to 2015.
  • Anticancer medications account for the lion’s share of global drug spending, and the average price per month of these drugs is known to have more than doubled in recent years
  • Cost is not connected with benefit, and cost is going up quickly, and benefit is highly variable.
  • ASCO and other groups are supporting efforts to make cancer drug costs relate to their effectiveness.

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