It is no surprise that the American Healthcare system is a broken, expensive and failing business. Health has enormous influence on the wellbeing of individuals; being able to take control of our health is a key factors in the physical and financial quality of life of american citizens.  Today, americans are far sicker and live shorter lives than people in other industrialized nations.  Americans spend twice as much on healthcare per capita than any other country in the world; despite that, we rank last in terms of quality of care among industrialized countries. This begs the question: Why exactly are the bills of our low quality care and medications so high?

Our healthcare system involves many sectors including public health organizations, hospitals and care facilities, insurance providers, and pharmaceutical companies. The costs of healthcare in our country have been driven skyward by Medicare and the pharmaceutical industrial complex, known as Big Pharma. Since american laws prevent the government from restraining drug prices, Big Pharma is allowed to set their own prices.  As a result of laws and regulations preventing the US government from reining in drug prices like other nations do, drugs are wildly overpriced in the US. Typically, Americans pay 50 percent more than other countries for identical drugs.  Big Pharma puts use to this enormous profit by outspending all others in pay outs and donations towards lobbying efforts – bribing the US Congress, US federal regulators, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Through these relationships large pharmaceutical companies have been able to control the standard of research and regulation on their own product. Unlike most other countries where research requires new drugs outperform placebos and older drugs that are already available on the market at lower costs, in America research outcomes for new pharmaceutical products only need to show that the drug outperforms a placebo before it can be placed on market at high costs.  This is evidence that Big Pharma protects its profits more than people, serving an interest to find profitable treatments over finding lasting cures.

Furthermore, American pharmaceuticals invests more dollars into advertising than any other industry in America saturating every media outlet to promote the use of quick-fix solutions for increasingly expensive drugs.  As a result, the US contains just 5% of the world population, yet it consumes over half of all prescribed medication and 4/5ths of the world’s supply of painkillers.

These are only a few examples of the way pharmaceutical companies disrupt and manipulate the costs associated with healthy living in America. Big Pharma seeks enormous profits over the health and well-being of the humans it serves, and evasively corrupts the way that the healthcare industry delivers its vital services. The system is designed and layered with built in incentives to keep people chronically dependent on drugs that often times merely mask and smother symptoms rather than cure or eradicate the root cause of disease, even if the latter is possible through lifestyle changes, healthy diet and preventative care. All of this and more makes the United States the most costly, broken, corrupt, destructive healthcare system in the entire world.  

An End to the Corruption

This is a cry to awareness and a declaration to end this cycle of dependency; to truly and effectively give American citizens the power to take control of the health in their own lives. A commitment

  • To demand that pharmaceutical companies are held accountable for the efficacy of their products; that repeat trial testing by companies and labs are not owned or partnered with parent pharmaceutical companies and that FDA standards be strict and unyielding in the production of a new medication have benefit over existing reliable treatments.
  • To demand that pharmaceutical companies and partners spend more on research into disease and treatment than the marketing of medicinal products.
  • To demand multiple purpose prescriptions and combination medical treatments be tried and tested prior to use on patients rather than mixed and matched without any concern of knowledge of potential counter effects or side effects.
  • To demand the increase of transparency of the companies offering payment or gifts to health care professionals beyond that of their income from their work in health care.
  • To remain dedicated to public health and preventative healthcare in our country by funding public health and primary care doctors at equal rates as treatment specialists.
  • To demand innovative and testable solutions to preventable disease.
  • To demand funding to support Americans at all socioeconomic statuses having access to affordable healthy dietary options, access to safe and enjoyable exercise at all ages, and increasing education around detrimental chemicals in food and home products.
  • To demand ethical pricing of pharmaceutical products that treat disease so bankruptcy and irreversible debt are never the outcome of seeking reasonable and necessary healthcare.

A commitment to set the path straight, to take back our health  and control of our liveliness without fear or concern that the people we turn to in our time of illness, hurt, and pain will take advantage of our ailments but rather will support us back to our healthiest selves.

JesiKayla Mizell, Student, Florida State College at Jacksonville