2013 – The Year Medical Fixes Got Busted

Dr. Aaron Carroll said that lifestyle changes are just as effective for reducing your chances of dying from heart disease, stroke and diabetes as drugs were. Yet we spend billions of dollars on such drugs. In his latest CNN Opinion article he also states that the FDA has also made news this year by banning things we once thought were good for us. He concludes that we don’t spend nearly enough on public health measures that could make much more of a difference. We have no problem subsidizing the cost of drugs, but we’d hardly consider subsidizing exercise or dieting at the same levels. When we look back on 2013, it feels like we’re relying too much on medical fixes for problems that have other solutions, and, perhaps, beginning to see their limitations. The article covers:

– In 2013, some common therapies were shown to be less effective than we thought

– Some examples — exercise is better than pills, vitamins don’t work

– Therapies that work for severe cases (statins, antibiotics) are over used

– We spend billions on these when we could spend it on better measures

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DR. AARON CARROLL is a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the director of its Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research. He speaks and blogs about health policy and the future of healthcare.  Invite him to your next meeting when you want an expert with knowledge – who knows how to deliver it.