Are Preventive Drugs Cost Effective?
Experts published in the British Medical Journal that there's serious doubt that the use of drugs to prevent diseases such as high cholesterol, osteoporosis and osteopenia, and hypertension are cost effective. In the case of Lipitor, it costs approximately $600,000 to prevent a single heart attack and still not save a single life when used for primary prevention. In the case of bisphosphonate usage, it costs $6 million to prevent a single fracture! While this is good for the pharmaceutical companies, it is hardly cost effective for insurance companies and for people paying for health insurance!
Using data from a Finnish study on 2003, data on more than 7400 hip fractures showed that giving bisphosphonates to 1.86 million people aged 50 or more would only guarantee the prevention of 343 fractures. This would generate $1.86 billion dollars of income and at the same time cost $6 million per fracture!!