Anyone foolish enough to browse through a medical dictionary is likely to come away from the experience believing that the only affliction that they’re not suffering from is housemaid’s knee. That might be a clue why healthcare in America is running at twice the OECD average.
Visitors to America are astonished at the number of advertisements for prescription medication on television there. Combined with the litigious disposition of patients, it’s no surprise that the country’s healthcare is running at almost 18% of GDP.
Proof, if any is needed, is evident in the 15% of high school-age children being prescribed with A.D.H.D. drugs. A.D.H.D. is historically estimated to affect 5 percent of children. So the other 10% are being incorrectly prescribed the medication by overcautious doctors. The problem is that Americans are increasingly suffering from diseases that are resistant to drugs. For example, the problem of antibiotic resistance has become so severe that the World Economic Forum described it as “arguably the greatest risk … to human health.”
Perhaps a step towards fixing America’s healthcare and financial problems is a law, like with cigarettes, that bans the advertisement of drugs. Call it preventative healthcare.