Monday, December 1, 2008

Medicine or food? A decision many need to make

If you have diabetes, how much did it cost for you to take your insulin today? If you are taking medication for high blood pressure, what was your day's cost? Did you know that morphine is one of the most inexpensive medications available in the pain killer category?

So, if morphine is so inexpensive, why can't the people in third world countries have it for those who are dying of cancer? Why does it cost an average African government worker two days of work to pay for one month of diabetes medications? And that's if he takes the generic. If he wants the name brand, it will cost him eight days of wages. Why are people taking only half their blood pressure medications to make them last longer?

The World Health Organization (WHO) studied 36 countries around the world. What they found was disturbing. The cost of medications in the poorer countries is skyrocketing because of all the people involved in getting the medications there. The survey looked at 15 medications that were commonly used, as well as four specific ones that were given for diabetes, asthma, hypertension (high blood pressure) and acute infections.

The WHO put out a news release, Essential medicines out of reach for most people, which says:

On the pricing side, the study revealed that “cuts” taken by wholesalers, distributors and retailers plus government taxes and duties are driving prices beyond affordability in many countries. In some countries, add-on costs can double the public-sector price of medicine, while in the private sector, wholesale mark-ups ranged from 2% to 380%, and retail mark-ups ranged from 10% to 552%.

Those in the North America and other developed countries know that the cost of medications can be outrageous. But it seems inconceivable that this can be even worse in countries that have virtually nothing to begin with.

News for Today:

Women with Mitral Valve Prolapse Are Treated Less Aggressively than Men and May be at High Risk

Accidental child poisonings still a major problem

Window widens for giving clot-buster to Canadian stroke victims

Today at Help My Hurt:

New treatment for plantar fasciitis

Today at Womb Within:

Sign breastfeeding petition to go to President-Elect Barack Obama

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