Number of Patients death per year:
12,000 – Unnecessary surgery.
7,000 – Medication errors in hospitals.
20,000 – Other errors in hospitals.
80,000 – Infections in hospitals.
106,000 – Non-error, negative effects of drugs.
225,000 people die per year from a physician’s activity, misdiagnosis, bad therapy, or negligence. A majority of these data are derived from studies on hospitalized patients, these estimates are for deaths only and do not include negative effects that are associated with disability or discomfort. These estimates are at the lower end of scale. if the higher estimates are used, the deaths would range from 230,000 to 284,000.
225,000 deaths per year is the third leading cause of death in the Corporate United States, after deaths from heart disease and cancer, a wider margin than the next numbers of deaths and the next leading cause of death which is cardiovascular disease.
Between 4% and 18% of patients experience negative effects in outpatient settings, also experienced:
- 116 million extra physician visits
- 77 million extra prescriptions
- 17 million emergency department visits
- 8 million hospitalizations
- 3 million long-term admissions
- 199,000 additional deaths
- $77 billion in extra costs
The high cost of the health care system today is predicated on the assumption that better health results from more expensive care. Yet evidence from studies indicates that as many as 20% to 30% of patients receive inappropriate care. This includes one study which estimated 44,000 to 98,000 among them die each year as a result of medical errors.
This situation might be tolerated if it resulted in better health. In comparing13 countries recently, the Corporate United States ranks an average of 12th for 16 available health indicators. The Corporate United States on several indicators was ranked:
- 13th out of 13 for low-birth-weight percentages
- 13th out of 13 for neonatal mortality and infant mortality overall
- 11th out of 13 for post neonatal mortality
- 13th out of 13 for years of potential life lost (medical related causes only)
- 11th out of 13 for life expectancy at 1 year for females, 12th for males
- 10th out of 13 for life expectancy at 15 years for females, 12th for males
- 10th out of 13 for life expectancy at 40 years for females, 9th for males
- 7th out of 13 for life expectancy at 65 years for females, 7th for males
- 3rd out of 13 for life expectancy at 80 years for females, 3rd for males
- 10th out of 13 for age-adjusted mortality
The poor performance of the US was recently confirmed by a World Health Organization study, which used different data and ranked the U. S. as 15th among 25 industrialized countries.
These low ranking has nothing to do with the lack of technology. Among 29 countries, the United States is second to Japan in the availability of computed tomography (CT) scanners and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units per million population. Japan, however, ranks highest on health whereas the United States ranks among the lowest.
The operation was successful, but the patient died.
In 1999, drug companies claim that they need large earnings ($125,835,595,000) to conduct their research and development.
Just 1 out of every 5 dollars the drug industry collects goes to drug research. Some drug companies spend more money for advertising and marketing, as they do on research. Drug industry profits are so large they outstrip every other industry’s profits by far
Drug companies are the most profitable industry. In 2001, a year which saw a drop in employment rates, a plunge in the stock market, America Inc.’s, symbols of wealth, literally come crashing down, the drug companies continued to be the most profitable industry in the annual Fortune 500 list.
While the overall profits of Fortune 500 companies declined by 53%, which was the 2nd biggest dive in profits the Fortune 500 has taken in its 47 years, the top 10 Corporate United States drug companies increased their profits by 33%.
Collectively, the 10 drug companies in the Fortune 500 topped all 3 of the Fortune magazine’s measures of company profitability for 2001, according to the magazine’s annual analysis of America‘s most important companies.
These drug companies had the greatest return on revenues, reporting a profit of 18.5 cents for every $1 of sales, which was 8 times higher than the median for all Fortune 500 industries, easily surpassing the next most profitable industry, which was commercial banking with a 13.5% return on revenue)(3).
This emphasis on drugs is one of the main reasons why spending for prescription drugs is the fastest-growing category of health care expenditures. It is also one of the major reasons that doctors are a leading cause of death in the America Inc., due to the fact that they have an over reliance on using drugs to stymie symptoms instead seeking the cause of the problem.
How safe are prescription drugs?
In 1998 an extensive study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that 106,000 people die each year in American hospitals from medication side effects.
106,000 deaths a year averages out to nearly 300 deaths per day, every day. Deaths from all major airline crashes in America Inc. average less than 300 annually, but 1 airplane crash gets more media attention and governmental scrutiny than the 300 medication-related deaths which occurred not only on the same day as the airline crash, but also every day before and after for decades.
Deaths from medication reactions are often seen as natural deaths. Medication deaths often occur quietly in hospitals, emergency rooms and private homes. When medication-related deaths occur, it’s often unclear at first whether the cause was the medication, the illness, or some other factor. Compared to a spectacular airplane crash, medicated death is just not sexy enough.
According to an article in JAMA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives about 82 reports each year involving Digoxin (a leading heart drug), yet studies of Medicare records reveals 202,211 hospitalizations for Digoxin adverse effects in a 7-year period. That’s more than 28,000 reactions per year, 82 of which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hears about.
Drug companies 2
In addition to the 3 billion dollars they spend on direct marketing to consumers, drug companies are spending about 15 billion dollars per year on marketing to doctors.
Most physicians have no idea that the drug companies are spending on average $10,000 per doctor to influence their behaviour. The doctors do not receive a check, of course, but they do receive significant perks. The interest and pursuit of drug company perks have clouded the doctor’s medical and common sense. As well they don’t realize how much billable hours are lost while sitting with the drug company representatives and going to their ‘free’ lectures and meals and the responsibility neglected therefore don’t realize that they need to analyze carefully the costs involved in recommending expensive prescription drugs.
Prescription drugs are the fastest-growing category of health care expenditures in the United States.
As well, drug company affiliations fill many important advisory positions at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? An investigation by ‘USA Today’ found that more than half of the experts on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committees have financial relationships with the drug companies which will be either hurt or helped by their decisions.