Overmedicating America

Topics: Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical drug, Drug Pages: 3 (820 words) Published: March 12, 2015
Cherise Madrid Is America overmedicated? Background Information:
Drugs in America are usually thought of as illegal ones like marijuana or cocaine but pharmaceuticals are used much more often than illegal drugs. According to a 2006 study by Boston University 82% of American adults and over half of children take at least one form of medication a day, 30% of adults take five or more, and 27% of children take two or more. Americans purchase nearly half of the global pharmaceutical market, filling more than 3.5 billion prescriptions a year. Possible Conversation Topic’s:

America Is Overmedicated
The Industry- The main force is the pharmaceutical industry. With $291 billion in annual sales, the pharmaceutical industry is the fastest-growing and most profitable sector of the US economy, and spending on prescription drugs is the fastest-growing category of health-care expense. Big Pharma spends $3 billion a year marketing drugs directly to consumers, and another $15 billion each year marketing to doctors, who they hope will prescribe their products. The hidden purpose and obvious result is to drive sales of drugs that may not be necessary or appropriate for an individual. Physicians are indeed increasingly likely to write prescriptions. ADHD- When the criteria for ADHD was broadened many healthy but very active children easily met the threshold for diagnosis. Sales of ADHD drugs jumped nearly 500 percent in just a decade. By 2004 some 2.5 million American children were taking ADHD drugs. Invention of Diseases- According to Big Pharma's critics, another reason medication use has increased is that pharmaceutical companies have literally invented new diseases for their pills to treat. An example of such a practice is the drug Detrol for "overactive bladder," a condition that did not exist until the drug maker coined the term and then spent millions teaching doctors how to recognize it. Detrol has since turned into a blockbuster drug,...
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