Drug Treatments Pay for Themselves
A study, commissioned by the PharmaceuticalResearch and Manufacturers ofAmerica, showed that treating high bloodpressure would save lives and be cost-effective.The study concluded that treatingall cases of uncontrolled high blood pressureamong Medicare beneficiaries wouldsave >75,000 lives by avoiding heartattacks and strokes. Conducted by theWisconsin-based Milliman Consultants andActuaries, the report indicated that whenthe new Medicare prescription drug benefittakes effect in 2006, active and continuousdrug treatment of 19 million untreated andundertreated high blood pressure patientswould result in 115,000 fewer cases ofstroke and 106,000 fewer incidences ofheart attacks and other coronary "events."
Treatment for high blood pressure includesdiuretics, beta-blockers, andangiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors.Individuals can also prevent and reversehigh blood pressure with diet and exercise.The study showed that drug treatmentswould basically pay for themselves. "The?no additional medical costs' result isbased on actuarial methods where theexpense increase due to active hypertensiontreatment using prescription drugtherapy is identically offset by reducedmedical expenses associated with strokeand coronary artery disease events," thereport said.