Americans spent more last year on pharmaceutical drugs than the entire military defense budget of China, Russia, and the UK combined. A total of $374 billion to be specific.
The latest figure, which comes from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics as reported by AP, is the highest jump we’ve seen since 2001 — and even 13% higher than 2013. The astronomical $374 billion figure contributed to record-shattering numbers of prescription drugs being purchased from pleasantly surprised pharmacies around the nation. More than 4.3 billion prescriptions were dispensed in 2014, with Medicaid covering around 17% and pushing heavily on the total increase.
“Spending rose 13 percent, the biggest jump since 2001, to a total of $374 billion, according to a report released Tuesday by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. After accounting for population growth and inflation, the increase equaled 10 percent,” wrote Linda A. Johnson for the Associated Press.
What does this ultimately mean? Let’s tie it into the recent report regarding the even more absurd numbers behind how much money the medical establishment wastes on an annual basis. As I covered back in March, the Institute of Medicine has unearthed one of the most startling financial discoveries regarding our medical system imaginable.
According to the report, the current medical system in the United States wastes a whopping $750 billion per year on unnecessary treatments, failed preventative measures, and much more. Yes, almost a trillion dollars. Even more than the entire military defense budget of the United States.
In fact, according to the report, the ridiculous waste can be categorized a number of really disturbing ways:
- Over $75 billion is wasted in straight up fraud.
- A total of $55 billion or more is lost due to lack of preventative education and opportunity.
- More than $190 is blown on unnecessary paperwork and administrative costs.
- A plentiful $210 billion is spent on what has been deemed ‘unnecessary services,’ as in repeating tests over and over for really no reason.
- Another $130 billion was spent on tests and services that were performed in a way that made them even more expensive than necessary, such as using hospital facilities for no reason during the test. This accounted for ‘insufficient services.’
With the extreme lack of preventative care, such as actually talking about nutrition and overall health strategies, is it any wonder that we are spending almost $400 billion on Big Pharma’s drugs?
This post originally appeared at Natural Society