An Epidemic of Fat

Anyone who’s heard me utter two syllables has heard my diatribe against the pharmaceutical industry’s manipulation of the disease, diabetes. Usually its against the very curable Type 1 variety, but for shits, let’s all learn a little about Type 2, Big Pharma, and the story underneath this story.

Point 1:

one in three will suffer from the disease by the year 2050.

Conclusion: If one in three Americans eat ice cream every day, it would be a wise investment to get into the ice cream business, right?

Supporting 1:

They spent an estimated $12.5 billion on medication in 2007, twice the amount spent in 2001, according to a study by the University of Chicago.

Conclusion: If the type-2 diabetes expenditure doubles every 6 years, by 2013, the fattest and poorest among us (the most likely to have T2) will spend $25 billion on T2-related medication alone.

Ponder: On what this means for  Medicare costs (and your taxes), the health of our nation, and how we view our relationship with health professionals (the doctors and druggists involved in the $25 billion Scrooge McDuck money pit).

Summation Conclusion:

Dr. G. Caleb Alexander [is an] assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and lead author of the [above mentioned] study. Since 1995, several new classes of diabetes medications have come on the market. 

Diabetes drugs are important to the pharmaceutical industry, more lucrative than drugs for many other chronic diseases, Dr. Alexander noted in an interview.

And Therefore, what this means to the drug industry:

A report released in March by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University reviewed data from 166 studies to evaluate the effectiveness and risks of various diabetes medicines. The researchers concluded that drugs that have been around for years are more effective at lowering blood sugar and often work with fewer side effects than the newest drugs. And because so many older drugs now are available as generics, they often cost just a fraction of the price of newer brand-name drugs.

But, this doesn’t work with a profit-seeking business. New innovation, selling more, new, less effective drugs that cost more than generics, that’s where the money’s at. Why this story fails to make that point about the drug industry has become almost the de facto position of journalists on stories concerning diabetes. You know, that all these powerful swirling forces are out there: a) look at this study b) and all this money and c) what this expert says. But everytime failing to go: well, gee, what happens when all this money and confusion exists simultaneously? See the image at the top for the answer.



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