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Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:21 PM

 

Big Pharma profiting from the Pentagon - Soaring cost of military drugs could hurt budget



Last year, the Pentagon spent more on pills, injections and vaccines than it did on Black Hawk helicopters, Abrams tanks, Hercules C-130 cargo planes and Patriot missiles — combined.
Some of the prescription drugs that have fueled the military’s skyrocketing pharmaceutical budget are the same ones that have medicated the civilian world over the past decade. Since 2002, the Department of Defense has spent more than $5 billion on Lipitor, Plavix, Advair, Nexium and Singulair.

Rather than a reflection of the drugs needed to treat wounded troops, the top-selling prescriptions signal an increase in aging military retirees covered by the military’s health program, Tricare, with drugs for arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes costing billions. The Department of Defense also spent more than $380 million on erectile dysfunction drugs and $238 million on testosterone therapy drugs over the decade.

But the military drug purchases also paint a picture of a fighting force increasingly reliant on antidepressants, psychotropic drugs and powerful narcotic painkillers that critics call dangerous and that have been involved in a growing number of prescription drug overdoses. The military spent at least $2.7 billion on antidepressants and more than $1.6 billion on opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin and hydrocodone over the past decade. More than $507 million was spent on the sleeping pill Ambien and its generic equivalents.

The details come from an unprecedented American-Statesman analysis of nearly every individual drug purchase made by the Department of Defense since 2002. The paper’s analysis also showed that many drug manufacturers saw their revenue from military sales soar over a decade that featured two wars and a large influx of beneficiaries covered by Tricare, the military’s health program.

Continued at :-
http://www.statesman.com/news/news/national-govt-politics/the-soaring-cost-of-military-drugs/nThwF/

8 replies, 811 views

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Reply Big Pharma profiting from the Pentagon - Soaring cost of military drugs could hurt budget (Original post)
Ian62 Dec 2012 OP
green for victory Dec 2012 #1
southernyankeebelle Dec 2012 #2
jody Dec 2012 #3
southernyankeebelle Dec 2012 #4
jody Dec 2012 #5
southernyankeebelle Dec 2012 #7
okaawhatever Dec 2012 #6
southernyankeebelle Dec 2012 #8

Response to Ian62 (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:33 PM

1. Time: America's Medicated Army-(SSRI & Suicides)

 

America's Medicated Army
By Mark Thompson Thursday, June 05, 2008
(check the date-it's gotten worse)

"...You don't always know who the bad guys are," he says. "When you search someone's house, you have it built up in your mind that these guys are terrorists, but when you go in, there's little bitty tiny shoes and toys on the floor — things like that started affecting me a lot more than I thought they would."

...Military families wonder about the change, according to Joyce Raezer of the private National Military Family Association. "Boy, it's really nice to have these drugs," she recalls a military doctor saying, "so we can keep people deployed." And professionals have their doubts. "Are we trying to bandage up what is essentially an insufficient fighting force?" asks Dr. Frank Ochberg, a veteran psychiatrist and founding board member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Such questions have assumed greater urgency as more is revealed about the side effects of some mental-health medications. Last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urged the makers of antidepressants to expand a 2004 "black box" warning that the drugs may increase the risk of suicide in children and adolescents. The agency asked for — and got — an expanded warning that included young adults ages 18 to 24, the age group at the heart of the Army. The question now is whether there is a link between the increased use of the drugs in the Iraqi and Afghan theaters and the rising suicide rate in those places.

"...At least 115 soldiers killed themselves last year, including 36 in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army said on May 29. That's the highest toll since it started keeping such records in 1980. Nearly 40% of Army suicide victims in 2006 and 2007 took psychotropic drugs — overwhelmingly, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1812055,00.html
******************

More evidence of SSRI mayhem. Immediate investigation needs to be demanded before there's more suicide and bloodshed.

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Response to green for victory (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:00 PM

2. Well I am on Tricare and was getting my drugs through the local pharmacy and it was

 

costing a fortune for my drugs even the generic ones. Now I finally decided to go through Express Script and I get generic drugs free and some I might pay $27.00 for all my drugs which is alot. I was paying over $125.00 just for one month orders. While with Express Script you pay for 90 day orders. I still have to get some drugs through the local pharmacy because ES doesn't carry them.

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:13 PM

3. My experience also. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:49 PM

4. I hope they don't start screwing around. I will be 65 in a few days. I will be on medicare and

 

Tricare for life.

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:02 PM

5. 77 here and we have the same fears. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:28 PM

7. What a hellva way for senior to have to worry about. I love my son but there is no

 

way in hell he is in a position to take care of me or my husband. He can hardly take care of his family. Like most young families. He is doing his best. They move 1 step forward then something happens and its 2 steps backward. Really scarey if you ask me. I am so disappointed in our politicans. No matter what party they belong to. Sooner or later we are going to get screwed by them.

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Response to Ian62 (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:55 PM

6. One important note here is that Tricare and DOD negotiate the price of Rx. Medicare by law is not

allowed to. For every dollar spent on Tricare Rx, that probably costs Medicare 1.50 or so. Bush screwed the pooch when they wrote the Medicare Part D plan. It was a perfect opportunity to get Drug companies under control. Now they're so large and in control, it will be almost impossible to get costs under control for Tricare and Medicare. That is why the budget is so f(!@ed.

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:30 PM

8. Right on about that. Leave it to Bush to screw it up.

 

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