Health is very important. It is a matter of national interest and touches everyone at an individual level. A lot of people are involved in the health sector and this could increase the cost of medication. The government is however at the head I providing healthcare.
The cost of healthcare in the US has been on the rise. The USA has been undergoing a major economical breakdown since the occurrence of the major economic recession of 2008. The healthcare system has not been spared. The rate of economic growth in one way or another affects the cost of medication. On a sad note, the quality of the healthcare in the use does not match the cost. The casts are high while the quality of healthcare offered in most health institutions is deplorable. On the global health map, these costs are far much higher compared to most other developed countries but the US is beaten in the quality provided. These relatively high costs that do not give a matching standard of quality are hence the focus of this paper (Health Costs, 2012).
The cost on medication in the US rose from $256 billion on 1980 to $2.6 trillion in 2010. This is an increment of more than ten times, a very huge increment indeed. When even compared to other countries the increment was far much higher. The cost of medication in Canada was $307 million in 2009. This shows a huge difference in the costs between these two countries. Since 2002 the insurance premiums for employed citizen of the US have increased by 97%. This in effect increases the burden on the working people. The elderly who are not capable of working actively are also greatly affected by the costs. Health care takes up to 17% of the GDP and is about two and a half times more than the other developed countries including France, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Despite the high cost of medication, the US has a poor health system. The country has very few practicing physicians lower than the most of other developed countries. In 2010, the United States had 2.1 physicians per 1000 of its population. This is below the average of other developed countries in the OECD. Their average is 3.1 physicians per 1000 people in the population. It is hence questionable that the high costs the US citizens pay in medication do not match the outcome.
The health facilities in the use are limited. According to a research in 2009, curable hospital beds are limited. The average of curable hospital beds in developed countries members of OECD is 3.4 per 1000 of the population. That of the US is 2.6 per 1000 of the population. There is hence a shortage in both the human resource in the United States' health system and also a shortage intangible facilities required for providing healthcare compared to other nations. Ironically, the cost of medication in other nations is not as high as it is in the US.
Most developed countries meet their health expenses through public sharing. The citizens are expected to join financing schemes that see them save money for future use in health care. Most finances come from taxes and social security schemes. This greatly reduces the cost of healthcare. However, the US has a very low public sharing of the health cost. The average o other developed countries, members of OECD, is 78.2% which is higher than the US public sharing of the health expenditure that stands at 48.2%. This contributes to the high cost of medication in the US compared to other developed nations. Poor health policies hence lead to high cost of medication.
The World Health Organization ranks France as the best country in providing quality and effective healthcare. The French government has come up with a system in which the citizens help the government to raise money for medication. In return, the government pays about 70% of the hospital bills of its citizens. To raise the amount, the citizens join insurance schemes and other private and public organizations. The government uses about $3,300 per person. The US, on the other hand, spends twice3 that amount on a single individual yet the quality of medication is better in France.
France citizens demonstrate a good use of their money. In a recent survey that involved nineteen developed countries, France was ranked as the country with the least number of health-related deaths that could have been prevented if a good medication was provided. France is a renowned destination for very sick patients all over the world. If you are very sick, it is most likely that the best medication you will get is in France. The US which when compared to France has double the cost of medication is not the leading country in the WHO's list. This clearly shows that the US is not utilizing the health funds appropriately.
In Germany, the law requires that all the citizens got into health schemes. There are more than two hundred such schemes in which the citizens save for their health. In case something happens in the future and their health is compromised, the citizens are in a position to cater for their medication costs.8% of incomes go to medical insurance plans. The systems also put into consideration the differences in income of the citizens. Those citizens with meager earnings are entitled to public assistance. The very rich 10% are allowed to join profitable plans. Germany healthcare system has won international acknowledgment for health management systems. There is improved doctor to patient relationship. Comparatively, the Germans are hence a better country in health management compared to the US.
Britain's healthcare is outstanding. The government takes responsibility for the cost of medication of its citizens. It pays the cost of medication and also pays doctors and nurses. This perhaps is one of the most dramatic forms of health analysis. The government uses the taxes paid by the people to cover the medical fee. In stating how much one should use in medication the government looks at the broader aspect. It takes into consideration how much a patient is able to improve from the medication and also the benefits he or she will regain once they receive from the disease. This is a fair billing.
In Taiwan, the administrative costs are kept low and this reduces the overall cost of medication. The government is the one that pays the cost of medication for all its citizens. This financing comes from the taxes that the people pay but considering that there is the low cost of medication, the health system does not raise the taxes too high. In Taiwan, there is the medical electronic card that contains all the information about the health status of a person. This information reflects once a patient visits the doctor. This in a way helps in the delivery of efficient health care because the health provider is in a position to follow up the history of a patient.
A number of reasons could be the answer as to why the cost of medication in the US is increasing. Therapeutic costs have an overall effect of increasing the cost of mediation. The process of coming up with a new drug involves massive research procedures. These procedures are expensive. They raise the cost of a drug to extremely high level and at the end of the chain increase medication cost. The United States has high administrative cost in the healthcare system. At least 7% of the health care costs are channeled towards administrative costs. If these administrative costs could be reduced, the cost of medication could also go down as it has been the case in countries such as Taiwan.
Chronic illnesses also raise the cost of medication. In the US, chronic illnesses raise the cost of medication to upto75%. This is a very high figure. Overweight and obesity are causes of chronic illnesses and hence have an effect on generally raising medical costs. The US has a very high number of obese and overweight people in its population.
Obesity has increased in the US. Compared to other the average figure of the countries in OECD, the figure is alarming. The US figure stands at 35.9% compared to the average of 22.2% which is OECD's average. Unfortunately, obesity and overweight populations are associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases. As seen above, chronic diseases have the effect of increasing the cost of medication. The US has such a high obesity rate has hence a more problem of high medical costs compared to other nation (Edmonds, 2005).
The United States has a poor health system. The system is very expensive but the quality of healthcare does not match. This is a huge problem. The costs increase due to high social securities' premiums and other reasons such as administrative costs. The patients have a right to receive health care that matches what they pay. The government could learn from other developed countries and attempt to adsorb the favorable policies that could apply to the US. Public education on the need to observe individual health and reduce chances of being overweight and obese could help lower the cost of medication.