While Congress and the rest of the nation turn the battle over healthcare reform into a pro-wrestling-style steel cage death match with enough rhetoric to choke an English professor, at least one expert is looking beyond the bills on the table for a different solution.
According to a lengthy report by legal expert Terry Mix, "The American Healthcare Dilemma" (www.terencemix.com), reorganizing the FDA and its activities could save Americans trillions of dollars over the next decade.
Mix believes that cleaning up FDA miscues and duplicative functions can save consumers serious money in unnecessary healthcare costs, as well as free up some much-needed federal dollars. His chief complaints include:
-- More than 50 percent of all serious adverse reactions to drugs are discovered after the drugs are initially marketed (e.g., they are not detected during premarket testing). -- About 2,270,000 patients per year incur hospital costs as a result of adverse drug reactions. -- Another 4,300,000 visit other healthcare providers (physicians, hospital outpatient departments and emergency rooms) as a result of adverse drug reactions. -- Approximately 230,000 die each year as a result of an adverse drug reaction (105,000 using drugs as directed and 125,000 from not following directions) -- the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. -- The total annual healthcare cost as a consequence of adverse drug reactions exceeds a staggering $200 billion -- an amount equal to what is spent on Medicaid every year and almost half of what is spent on Medicare.
"These costs can be cut in half by fixing everything that is wrong with the FDA and the system of testing drugs," he added. "This would amount to health care savings of at least $100 billion per year -- one trillion dollars over ten years."