Sunday, January 2, 2011

Drug Money

People & Power investigates fraud and corruption running through the veins of the US pharmaceutical industry.

I almost never see TV commercials except for when I am at the gym. And I note there is a consistent airing of gay-happy-overjoyed-energetic-lovely people twirling their dance partner, skipping along the beach, planting their 3-acre garden, running a marathon, or sitting by the fireplace with wine and romance, all while taking powerful drugs that have 2,972 side effects that are read off, in hushed tones, for the final 2/3 of the commercial.-Karen De Coster

More than a quarter of U.S. kids and teens are taking a medication on a chronic basis, according to Medco Health Solutions Inc., the biggest U.S. pharmacy-benefit manager with around 65 million members. Nearly 7% are on two or more such drugs, based on the company's database figures for 2009.


But children and teens are also taking a wide variety of other medications once considered only to be for adults, from statins to diabetes pills and sleep drugs, according to figures provided to The Wall Street Journal by IMS Health, a research firm. Prescriptions for antihypertensives in people age 19 and younger could hit 5.5 million this year if the trend though September continues, according to IMS. That would be up 17% from 2007, the earliest year available.-So Young and So Many Pills

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