The American Healthcare System: Did You Know?: Background information when reading An American Sickness

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An American Sickness

How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back

by Elisabeth Rosenthal

An American Sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal X
An American Sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2017, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2018, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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About this Book

The American Healthcare System: Did You Know?

This article relates to An American Sickness

In An American Sickness, Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal provides many intriguing details about the U.S. healthcare system. Here are a few:

Capsules

  • The first employer-sponsored health insurance plan was developed in Dallas, Texas in 1929 as a sort of pre-paid hospitalization account offered to teachers in the area. It evolved into Blue Cross over the ensuing decade, becoming the United States' first national health insurance plan.
  • The healthcare industry spends $15 billion in the USA annually on advertising. In 2000 pharmaceutical company Merck spent more on ads for just one new painkiller (Vioxx) than Budweiser, Pepsi or Nike did for all their products that same year. The USA is one of only two countries to permit advertising of drugs on television (the other is New Zealand).
  • 74 percent of the cancer drugs approved by the FDA during the previous decade ultimately did not extend life by even a single day.
  • Drug companies can apply for a new patent for drugs that are a combination of older ...

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