Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More than 50% INSURED Americans Medicated

My mother, who is a social worker, once had an elderly client who was so demented she needed to be institutionalized...until they thought to try taking her off her 1000 meds--antihypertensives, stuff for her digestion, SSRIs, you name it. Interestingly, she "snapped out of it" and was able to remain as a productive member of the senior center she was living in. Go figure.

With so many people taking so many drugs and no one having any idea how they interact (not to mention this is all being peed out into the water supply), it's one of these things that makes you go, Hmmmmmmm.


By LINDA A. JOHNSON, AP Business Writer

TRENTON, N.J. - 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.

read more here.