The Real Drug Peddlers
A shocking 600,000 Americans consume, individually, the equivalent of $50,000 worth of pills annually, an analysis has shown. Nearly 140,000 Americans currently spend more than $100,000 each on pharmaceuticals every year. An Express Scripts report, entitled Super Spending: U.S. Trends in High-Cost Medication Use, found that an estimated 576,000 Americans spent more than the median household income in 2014 on legalised drugs. Everything—from pain pills to psychiatric medications to cancer poisons—represents a 63% increase in prescription drug use compared to 2013 figures. Express Scripts is a St Louis-based (Missouri) online pharmacy which delivers prescription drugs at affordable rates to patients.
Some 60% of these patients are taking more than 10 medicines on any given day, officially prescribed by at least four different specialists! Blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and anti-depressant medications lead the list. A majority of them are in the 50-70 age groups. In the US, a large number of them pay for their drugs from the taxpayers’ pool. But those who pay from their pockets are known to spend, on an average, annually $100,000. This is the bill for 140,000 people there.
The story of rich Indians is no different. I am sure the bill will be much higher here as we practise American medicine with interest on it! Now, the real drug peddlers are not lurking in street corners. They are inside corporate office suites.
Why So Many Drugs, Regularly?
In 1968, I asked why a mild-to-moderate hypertension patient should be drugged routinely. My observation, under duress in a large government hospital, was that these patients do well on tender loving care and lifestyle modifications alone without drugs. I also wrote in 1993, in my textbook on high blood pressure, that moderate hypertension is not an illness. Both those efforts brought me infamy and ridicule. The total number belonging to that class was more than 50 million all over. Lo and behold! The 2014 report of the Joint National Committee (JNC) of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the divine body which once in four-five years gives out its verdict on what the normal BP levels should be, came out that the normal adult blood pressure could be 159/99 and, if the person is a diabetic, it could be 140/90. The same holds good for sugar and cholesterol levels: the latter was elevated to the status of a disease by the drug industry!
Breastfeeding and IQ
Dr Bernardo Lessa Horta, PhD, is an epidemiologist who mounted a very sophisticated study on more than 3,760 people to study the effects of breastfeeding on the intelligence quotient (IQ) of such children even into adult life. It was hard work to follow up so many people into adulthood in the Universidade Federal de Pelotas. Dr Horta normally works at the McGill University as an associate professor.
The study showed that the IQ of children was directly proportional to the length of breastfeeding, among the rich and the poor in Brazil. These children were followed up to adulthood. Dr Hota found out that the effect on the IQ persisted into adulthood. The two possible links are that the brain, especially the hippocampus major, gets the right food at the right time. The other important reason is the bonding between the baby and the mother for better intellectual development. Breastfeeding in Indian villages also makes the child get clean and healthy food right for that age group.