Suffice it to say that I learned a lot from this book about what to look for in a study to determine if it offers valuable and practical data. One of the examples repeatedly used in the book to show how data can be manipulated refers to studies of blood pressure medications. The book reveals numerous examples of how many of the new hypertensives have shown little benefit over the long used, inexpensive diuretics as a first line therapy for high blood pressure. Diuretics reduce your body's fluid volume, which often reduces blood pressure. I didn't think much about these examples because I haven't look at the full body of research on blood pressure control medication so I read about them with a passing fancy.
So when I came across an interesting article yesterday titled, "Rethink Pills for Hypertension," on a Canadian website, it caught my attention.
Here's the article: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/health/Rethink+pills+hypertension/6885891/story.html#ixzz1zqEgqhvd
The gist of the article is that while new medications have substantially raised the cost of treating hypertension, hypertension continues to increase across the Canadian population. Of course, there can be many reasons for more hypertension including increasing heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc.
Nevertheless, the article reports, "In a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the authors documented that the cost for these medications rose to $5.3 billion in 2006 from $1.7 billion in 1996. The cost per 100,000 population rose to $17.5 million from $5.8 million during that 10-year period. The authors observed no plateau in spending and concluded that the rapid escalation in costs threatens the sustainability of public drug insurance programs."