TREATING AMERICA: AN ANALYSIS OF PHARMACOLOGICAL ECONOMICS
C. W. Hensley and C. A. South-Winter*
Healthcare is a big business, plain and simple. Hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers “sell” their services to consumers. In most business models, competition between businesses typically drives costs down, allowing for the consumer to benefit. However, this is not the case when it comes to healthcare costs within the United States. Costs are at an all-time high with no signs of slowing down. When the top 5% of Americans earners account for nearly half of all healthcare spending because they are the only ones with the means to afford it, it raises alarm. In per capita spending, Americans spend anywhere from $4,000-$6,000 more than citizens in 30+ industrialized countries including Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom; it is time to diagnose the cause of our higher costs (OECD, 2017). This scenario was ultimately caused by complacency and a lack of health education about the current U.S. healthcare system. One of the key contributors to rising healthcare costs is the development, production, and distribution of pharmaceutical products. When key elements of the U.S. healthcare system are allowed to go unchallenged, without evaluation, or encouragement to evolve to meet changing needs; costs are then allowed to grow rampant without any oversight.
Keywords: Pharmaceutical Industry, Healthcare, U.S. healthcare.
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