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Big Pharma’s Share in the Consumer Price Index

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. Goods and services that make up that market basket include:

  1. FOOD AND BEVERAGES (breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, full service meals, snacks)
  2. HOUSING (rent of primary residence, owners’ equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture)
  3. APPAREL (men’s shirts and sweaters, women’s dresses, jewelry)
  4. TRANSPORTATION (new vehicles, airline fares, gasoline, motor vehicle insurance)
  5. MEDICAL CARE (prescription drugs and medical supplies, physicians’ services, eyeglasses and eye care, hospital services)
  6. RECREATION (televisions, toys, pets and pet products, sports equipment, admissions);
  7. EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories);
  8. OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES (tobacco and smoking products, haircuts and other personal services, funeral expenses).http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm#Question_6

This article will concentrate on No. 5, Medical Care, and, in particular, pharmaceuticals, which include vaccines that are tantamount to annuities for Big Pharma.

But first we need to consider that some healthcare costs may not be included nor calculated in the CPI because parents often pay medical care costs for their autistic children that they receive from the alternative healthcare community, which may not be factored into statistical data.

The two largest government health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid, purchased $877.2 billion of health care goods and services in 2009, accounting for 38.3 percent of total health care spending. (Martin et al. 2010). https://www.cms.gov/NationalHealthExpendData/downloads/dsm-09.pdf

 

Consumer Price Index

If we compare 1960 healthcare costs to 2008 healthcare costs, which ClearPictureOnline.com did, we find some very interesting statistical information. http://www.clearpictureonline.com/1960-US%20State%20Health.html

The nearly 20 times increase (or $13,227) in group insurance premiums over the CPI inflation rate, suggests that those with insurance are possibly subsidizing those who are covered by Medicare, Medicaid or are uninsured.

It appears that the cost of health care has increased approximately four times faster than the CPI inflation rate. This is partly due to the improved medical care and that we are also living about eight years longer. Also the increased use of insurance has probably increased demand for services and the provider’s fear of litigation has resulted in expanded use of tests and more treatments. [Emphasis added]

Further comparison by ClearPictureOnline.com indicates that total 1960 healthcare costs for a household was $425.00 and the yearly household group health insurance was $107.00. But here’s some number crunching that is dramatic: The calculation of the 1960 costs based upon 2008 inflation and other factors would be $2,952.00 for total healthcare costs per household and $741.00 for annual group health insurance.

However, the actual 2008 figures based upon ClearPictureOnline research were:

Total Health Care per household……………….$13,019.00

Total Group Health Insurance per household…..$13,968.00

Clearly there are tremendous differences as the CPI was nowhere near the percentages that the above figures seem to indicate. That’s an aspect that ought to be investigated to ascertain what is accounting for such skyrocketing expenditures when healthcare costs apparently are not held to or determined by inflation rates or the CPI.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index for 2008 http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid08av.pdf for five healthcare categories was:

  1. medical care 3.7%,
  2. medical care commodities 2.1%,
  3. medical care services 4.2%,
  4. professional services 3.4%, and
  5. hospital and related services 7%; the increase from 2007 to 2008 averaged only 4.08%.

What caused over $10,000 more than CPI-adjusted 2008 figures as compared with actual healthcare per household costs and more than $13,000 for actual group health insurance per household? Something just doesn’t seem to jive, I’d say. We are looking at an excess of $23,000 over CPI-adjusted 2008 costs per household for yearly medical costs.

 

Gross Domestic Product

So what accounts for those differences? What product needs to be factored into those costs? Probably the most frequent healthcare product that impacts those figures would be prescription drugs, which cost megabucks in the United States. Now, consider the rise in healthcare costs as percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in various countries as per the chart on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Health_care_cost_rise.svg

 

 

The high price of prescription drugs is one of the major areas of discussion in the U.S. health care reform debate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prescription_drug_prices_in_the_United_States

If in the United States, 12.9% of the total healthcare costs were attributed to pharmaceuticals—and that was per 2003 statistics, one only can guess what the 2008 pharmaceutical cost percentage was in order to keep on target with the time frame discussed in this article.

I found the 2008 U.S. healthcare costs were $2.3 Trillion or 16.2% GDP. http://www.allhealth.org/sourcebookcontent.asp?CHID=65

Of that amount, 10% was spent for retail prescription drugs, which amounts to a staggering $23 BILLION paid for pharmaceutical drugs.

The following just may be a clue we need to be investigating as to why U.S. citizens are paying through the nose for healthcare:

Prescription drug prices, in particular as part of Medicare, have become a political issue in the United States.

The pharmaceutical industry has thousands of lobbyists in Washington, DC, that lobby Congress and protect their interests. The pharmaceutical industry spent $855 million, more than any other industry, on lobbying activities from 1998 to 2006, according to the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prescription_drug_prices_in_the_United_States

Follow a Time Line

Starting in the mid 1980s, vaccine makers began their push for ‘immunization’ (an oxymoron, I’d say) of infants and children with numerous vaccines—a program that has increased exponentially yearly—so much so, that in the first year of an infant’s life, he or she will receive a total of 26 vaccines per HHS/CDC mandates. So, let’s take a look at the cost of some of those vaccines as listed on the CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/cdc-vac-price-list.htm

Carefully check the column Private Sector Cost/Dose. Some budget-busters include:

DTaP-Hep B-IPV $70.72

DTaP-IP-HI $77.48

Hepatitis B-Hib $43.56

Pneumococcal $97.21
13-valent (Pediatric)

HPV – Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus $130.27

Types 6, 11, 16 and 18 Recombinant

Rotavirus, Live, Oral $102.50

Varicella [chickenpox] $83.77

 

At the bottom of that CDC vaccine price list site, there is this footnote, which indicates the amount of Federal Excise Tax per dose and “vaccines which contain Thimerosal as a preservative.” Strangely, there are vaccine media disclaimers that there is no mercury-containing Thimerosal in vaccines. Well, you can see for yourself—it’s listed right there on the CDC web site. Check out the link. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/cdc-vac-price-list.htm

Many influenza (flu) vaccines contain Thimerosal.

  1. Vaccine cost includes $2.25 dose Federal Excise Tax
  2. Vaccine cost includes $3.00 per dose Federal Excise Tax
  3. Vaccine cost includes $1.50 per dose Federal Excise Tax
  4. Vaccine cost includes $3.75 per dose Federal Excise Tax
  5. Vaccine cost includes $0.75 per dose Federal Excise Tax
  6. Vaccines which contain Thimerosal as a preservative

Continuing on with vaccine costs, we need to take into consideration that many vaccines must be administered again and again per CDC regulations, because the vaccines’ ‘effectiveness wears off’; whereas, if a child would have contracted the infectious disease, he/she would have life-long immunity, something that would decrease the costs of healthcare, plus vaccine makers’ and Big Pharma’s profits.

Childhood infectious diseases are a natural mechanism for fortifying and stimulating an individual’s immune system, whereas vaccines may produce an excessive negative impact due to neurotoxic adjuvants and other poisonous chemicals injected with vaccines.

To further understand how vaccines are impacting children’s immune systems negatively, you may want to read the articles I co-authored with Harold E. Buttram, MD, titled “Basics of the Human Immune System Prior to Introduction of Vaccines: Are Vaccines Turning Our Children’s Immune Systems Inside Out?” Parts 1 and 2 published by the International Medical Council on Vaccination at http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/.

Furthermore, if you check out the CDC vaccination schedule for infants 0 age to children 18 years of age at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5751a5.htm, you readily begin to realize the costs involved to vaccinate are staggering.

Additionally, published studies indicate that 90 percent—and higher—of those vaccinated contract the very infectious diseases for which they are vaccinated. So, how effective are vaccines in preventing those diseases and, how healthcare-cost-effective are they, if children need to be vaccinated numerous times to acquire something called ‘herd immunity’? Doesn’t it sound a little like either a shell game or a ‘smoke and mirrors’ routine?

Since there are an inordinate amount of serious adverse reactions to vaccines, as documented by the CDC’s VAERS reporting system [http://www.medalerts.org/], one can understand that other healthcare costs obviously accrue to deal with debilitating effects such as Guillain Barré syndrome, chronic diseases—possible vaccine-induced childhood diabetes—allergies, anaphylaxis, and even death. Currently there are about 5,000 cases claiming autism connection to vaccinations before the U.S. Vaccine Court special masters for consideration. Unfortunately, vaccines are only one segment of Big Pharma’s pharmaceutical repertoire.

 

 

The Cost of Prescription Drugs in the U.S.

Let’s take a quick look at some prescription drugs, other than vaccines. The cost of medical or prescription drugs is exorbitant in the United States as compared with some foreign countries, especially Canada and the European Union. Several states—Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, and Wisconsin—operate official state programs to help residents obtain low-cost drugs from abroad. What does that say?

Consider this example: A hundred pills of a popular statin cost about $420.24 or $4.20 per pill in the U.S. That same statin in Canada sells for $343.95 for a hundred pills, or $3.43 per pill.

One of the better-known prescription drugs for depression sells for $369.01 for 100 pills in the U.S., whereas you can purchase them for as little as $98.00 per 100 in Canada. The cost comparison is $3.69 per U.S.-purchased pill versus 98 cents per Canadian pill.

This web site http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/medicine/prescription-drug-sales.htm lists the top selling prescription drugs in the United States along with their 2006 World-wide sales figures.

Every statistic, chart, or graph that I study indicate that healthcare costs rise precipitously on an annual basis. Wouldn’t it make sense to question the efficacy of vaccines and vaccinations when most of the U.S. population is vaccinated and still there is such an inordinate escalation in sickness data, healthcare costs, and even an increase in the very disease for which children are vaccinated?

Trying to blame those disease increases on non-vaccinated children may be similar to saying garbage breeds maggots. No, maggots are the result of flies/insects laying their eggs in an environment that supplies food for baby flies or insects. Disease is all about the ecological balance of the host, which vaccines contaminate further with neurotoxins and other poisons, plus foreign DNA.

The CDC stated that the estimated 2008 National Vaccine Coverage Average for children 19-35 months was 76.1%. One of the overwhelming statistics that cannot be denied is this:

Since 1986 the number of children with autism disorder spectrum (ADS) has been rising in a parallel fashion with the increase in percentages of children vaccinated.

How do those statistics figure into healthcare costs since, in most cases, the U.S. Vaccine Court categorically denies most claims? The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Statistic Report to September 2, 2010 showed almost $2 BILLION paid for 2,503 claim awards with over $72 Million in associated attorney fees and costs; while 2, 293 vaccine damage claims were dismissed but accrued over $46 Million in attorneys’costs.

If one were to examine VAERS cases reported, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program award payout figures, plus declined cases and the costs of prescription pharmaceuticals, it’s not difficult to realize that Congress or the Congresssional Budget Office should be investigating the exorbitant rise in healthcare costs. If that doesn’t happen, conceivably, healthcare costs in the U.S. will be more than a quarter of the Gross Domestic Product, which will have a totally negative impact on the U.S. work force. Sickness care will become the predominant U.S. business and the country will go broke, if we aren’t there already.

Congress needs to stop emptying Big Pharma lobbyists’ deep pockets that, in my opinion, makes it easy to swallow ‘pseudo-scientific’ information. Congress needs to rein in on the overwhelming push to medicalize American citizens, which starts immediately after they are born with the Hepatitis B vaccine and charges on through a person’s life.

Catherine J. Frompovich
 

Catherine J Frompovich is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting. Catherine is an editor and writing consultant who helps authors get into publication. For numerous semesters she taught several writing courses for a suburban Philadelphia school district’s Adult Evening School. Her passion is assisting and guiding authors into print. Catherine’s latest book, A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, will be available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook sometime in July 2012. Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008).