Billions of Dollars Wasted on Unnecessary Medical Treatments

Billions, yes billions—$769 to be exact in 2009 health system spending was “deemed to be wasted, with a large portion of that amount— $210 billion linked to unnecessary services.” Overprescribing antibiotics and conducting unneeded tests and treatments can not only be overpriced, but also risky for individual health. Advisory panels have “developed recommendations that should help determine the appropriate use of the treatments while reducing potential risks to patients”. There are five specific medical treatments that patients should be watchful of— have you been a target of any?

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Did You Forget To Check Your Meds?

Everyday people use expired medications either by forgetting to check the label or by simply not caring enough to look for the date of expiration. The FDA states that expired medical products can be less effective or risky due to a change in chemical composition or decrease in potency and should be disposed of properly. A new packaging material may revolutionize the way expired medications are handled.  “Self Expiring” will graphically display universally accepted danger signs directly on the packaging of medications when they expire. The designers have been recognized as the winners of the red dot award.

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Blood Pressure Medicines May Increase Risk Of Breast Cancer

Women who used a type of blood pressure drug for more than ten years may have unknowingly increased their risk of breast cancer. Calcium-channel blockers such as Norvasc produced by Pfizer Inc. increased the risk of developing breast cancer by 2.5 times when used for a decade or more. Although the study uncovered this link, more research is necessary to identify what class of medicines may increase the risk of disease.

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Report: Improper Use Of Rx Drugs Costs $200B Annually

A report released yesterday by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics reveals the U.S. spends $200 billion each year on medical care stemming from improper or unnecessary use of prescription drugs. The study, Avoidable Costs in U.S. Healthcare: The $200 Billion Opportunity from Using Medicines More Responsibly, says the problem represents 8% of the country’s annual healthcare expenditures, much of which comes through avoidable readmissions and outpatient treatments.

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