SPOKANE, Wash. - The United States has some of the best healthcare in the world, but its healthcare is also some of the most expensive. Now, a new study published in The Journal of The American Medical Association is shedding light on why so many have such high healthcare costs.
It's not that Americans are making more trips to the doctor or the hospital, the study says they make about the same amount of visits as people in Sweden and Japan. However, the study found doctors in the U.S. are much more likely to order special tests; performing more CT scans than anywhere else in the world.
Doctors salaries in the U.S. are also twice as high as those in the U.K. or Germany.
Brand name drugs also play a factor in healthcare costs. One telling figure from the Journal's study found 84% of prescriptions in America are for less-expensive generic drugs, but those generic drugs only account for 30% of the total dollars spent on pharmaceuticals. That means the cost of those brand name drugs far outweighs savings made from generic versions.
For example, prescriptions in the U.S. often cost twice as much as those sold in Europe. The drug Crestor, which helps lower cholesterol costs $186 in the U.S. Compare that to its $41 price tag in Germany.
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