The cost of healthcare in the United States is extremely high compared to other countries. In the next decade alone, it is anticipated that the United States will spend 13.5 trillion on hospital care alone. One of the primary cause of increasing hospital costs is the high readmission rate. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services is no longer reimbursing hospitals for patients who have frequent readmissions for conditions like heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, and Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgery.
Research and implementation of new medications has decreased the hospitalization rates for a variety of illnesses. For every $1 spent on medications there is a $3 – $10 decrease in hospitalization cost for patients with CHF, Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
From the years 2002-2007 there was a 23% decrease in hospitalizations for patients with HIV because of new medications that became available.
There has been a 90% reduction in hospitalizations for patients with Hepatitis C from new medications. Harvoni, one of the new Hepatitis C medications, has a cure rate of 96%-99%! This drug alone can decrease the need for a patient to undergo a liver transplant costing upwards of 500K or fighting liver cancer that can cost around 112K.
The cure for Alzheimers Disease is ongoing and so far there is still no FDA approved medication that directly combats Alzheimers. If a new medicine came on the market that delayed the onset of Alzheimers by just 5 years America would save 367 billion on health services.
While pharmacological research is costly and timely, it pays HUGE dividends for the American hospital system when a new drug comes to market.