What Does Your State Say About Your Health

Forbes recently had an article about the most medicated states.  There has always been wide variation which is the key point here.  Some of this is attibuted to health and some of it to physician behavior. 

  • First, let me point out a flaw.  The author assumes that 7% of claims are mail and aren’t meaningful.  Well, you have to adjust that by days supply which means its more like 18-20% of volume which is meaningful.
  • Second, I think it’d be interesting to include OTC (over-the-counter) information here especially with things like Claritin and Prilosec going OTC in the past 5 years.
  • Third, I think the following quote from the article is very scary.

“Heightened awareness of certain drugs and conditions may be another explanation. In 2005, pharmaceutical companies spent $122 million on direct-to-consumer antidepressant advertising–almost four times what they spent in 1999. A 2005 study in JAMA found that 55% of participants who requested a brand-name drug received an antidepressant; only 10% of patients who had similar symptoms but made no request received an antidepressant.”

There is also another study out that ranks states – Commonwealth Fund State Scorecard on Health System Performance.

“Where you live matters for how long you live and how healthy you live”  (Cathy Schoen, VP, Commonwealth Fund)

State Health Rankings

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