The cost of health care is on everyone’s mind. The debate has proceeded around how we can get people covered and not about why the costs are so high. I recently came across an interesting piece of research that may illustrate why we spend so much for health care. The pain medication Vioxx was taken off of the market because it increased the likelihood of heart attacks. Vioxx was an anti-inflammatory drug known as a cox-2 inhibitor. It is named for the enzyme it suppresses. The cox-2 inhibitors were popular because they offer effective pain relief without creating the problems with GI irritation caused by other types of pain reliever. Celecoxib (sold under the brand name Celebrex), which is also a cox-2 inhibitor, also increases the risk for a heart attack. Research appearing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (March 3, 2006) showed that celecoxib can increase the risk of a heart attack by two fold.
Celebrex is commonly prescribed to old folks with arthritis. It makes you wonder if the cost of a trip to the emergency room and some time in CCU may be due to the fact that this drug is still being prescribed.
Our heath care costs are high for many reasons. The system exists to provide a profitable business for drug companies, medical equipment producers, and insurance companies. Care is secondary to these companies making money. Drug companies control a lot of the information received by doctors. Face it, all of the medical journals sell ads to drug companies. One sure way to corrupt your findings is to get money involved. This may be the reason a lot of effective, inexpensive natural therapies are ignored. A lot of the activity that passes for health care is for profit and neither is healthy nor provides care.
As long as we continue along this path, it will not matter whether the government pays the bill or we pay it out of pocket-it will still continue to cripple our economy.