Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine, by John Abramson

You may have suspected it. In spite of the incredible expense poured into our health care system we aren't any healthier. Here, then, is the proof confirming your suspicions and the why.

Near the end of the book Abramson, a long-time family doctor who has an extensive background in statistics, epidemiology, and health policy, puts it simply: the bad news is that many of our celebrated advances in medicine, including new drugs, medical procedures, and sophisticated equipment, do not perform as well as older treatments and cost a great deal more. The good news is the same! If we knew what really works, based on unbiased well-designed studies, we would not need to use expensive treatments, equipment, or drugs nearly as often as we do, and we'd be better for it. In other words, our health care costs would drop and our health would improve.

Our health care system has gone so far astray that in comparisons with other developed countries the U.S. pays twice as much for abysmal results. And it really is not an accident. And it isn't because we eat too much fried food (although, of course, we do have to take responsibility for choices within our power). Read this book and find out for yourself. It's easy to read, clearly written, easy to understand. And so important. I would like every one of our political leaders to have a copy.

No comments: