According to the report provided by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, 2011 was a significant for drug industry, which achieved great results. Nevertheless, the investigations conducted by the research group that examined medical industry show the disappointingfact that medical service is still expensive for many Americans. The quantity of prescriptions was reduced by 1.1% and doctors’ services dropped by 4.7% in comparison with 2010. Patients neglected the prescription drugs and didn’t visit doctors and as the result, in 2011 it led to the growth of visits to the emergency room by 7.4 percent. One of the reasons of this sad fact is that a person loses the health insurance in case of long-term unemployment.
When economic depression started some people began to visit doctors more often because of fear that they could lose their medical insurance. Unfortunately, the economic situation leavesmuch to be desired and many people have to reconsider their attitude to the use of healthcare.
The research shows that last year older Americans bought fewer drugs. The demand for drugs that cure osteoporosis and high blood pressure was less as people couldn’t afford to pay increasing bills while their incomes remained the same.
When the Medicare Part D prescription drug program was introduced as a part of the new health care law it became accessible to people older than 65. The total out-of-pocket costs on medicines decreased to $9.7 billion from $11.5 billion in 2010. But even in spite of the fact that out-of-pocket costs of drugs dropped, people used fewer prescriptions.
The other fact is that the drugs that treat high cholesterol and high blood pressure could be viewed as expendable because in case of refusal from such medicaments the symptoms don’t necessarily develop.
A senior strategic policy advisor Leigh Purvis, who studies drug prices for the AARP, also asserts that the price of generic drugs decreased due to the fact that the majority of Americans took them. It led to the situation when the price for brand-name drugs jumped and it made them even more unaffordable.
The opposite situation is observed in youth aged 19 to 25. As the health care law allowed young people under 26 to be paid off by the health care plan of their parents, the prescriptions for them rose by 2% in comparison with 2010. The most popular among young people were antidepressants and drugs that cure attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Another very important fact is that during 2011, 34 new medicines for the treatment of such severe diseases as cancer, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis and others were found. Medical technology doesn’t stand on a same spot and the time will come when the new treatments can help people cope with their diseases.