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Study says Americans spend more on healthcare

Healthcare in the U.S. has often been associated with high expenses and poor outcome. Unlike other countries, U.S. healthcare is said to be the most expensive by almost every measure. A new analysis on why Americans spend a lot in big pharma echoes previous findings that healthcare facilities and prescription drugs are getting dearer for the average citizen.

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The latest study on the data retrieved from a few international organizations looked at the healthcare expenditures and performance outcome throughout the world. They made a comparison between the U.S. and other high-income countries. Researchers found that the major factors for the vast differences were linked with administrative costs as well as the high price of labor and products, and expensive prescription drugs.

The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that health spending accounted for 18% of the gross domestic product in the year 2016 — much higher than other countries where the expenditure varied from 9.6% to 12.4%.

A new analysis on why Americans spend a lot in big pharma echoes previous findings that healthcare facilities and prescription drugs are getting dearer for the average citizen.

When you crunch the numbers, this study points to the fact that Americans spend about $3.5 trillion annually on healthcare expenses. At the same time, health insurance premiums have shot up by almost 60%.

Americans face the brunt of price hikes. With the soaring health insurance premiums and the rule that everyone must purchase one, the number of uninsured individuals in the country is expected to rise.

The amount Americans spend to purchase prescription drugs had increased at an alarmingly fast rate. Take an example of a few drugs like AstraZeneca’s Crestor, AbbVie’s Humira and Sanofi’s Lantus. These medicines, used to treat common conditions, are more expensive in the U.S. when compared to most other countries.

Americans, in fact, land up spending $1,443 per capita on pharmaceuticals alone. Studies done in the past have highlighted that the growth in profits among major drug companies stems from increased prices and not the addition of new products.

In the political landscape, President Donald Trump had earlier promised to unveil a new system that would lower the price Americans pay for prescription drugs. But unfortunately, nothing has arrived yet.

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