A healthier America is not that difficult to achieve. It takes common sense policies and sound practices. Better healthcare is not simply a matter of prescribing more pharmaceutical drugs.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports Americans consume 75% of the world’s drugs. Nearly three in five adults in the U.S. are on prescription drug at any given time. In seniors over-medication is unfortunately all too common. A third of American seniors take five or more prescription drugs per day, and up 20% of these prescriptions are inappropriate. This results in up to 100,000 emergency hospitalizations each year from common drug overuse in seniors.
While some drugs are lifesaving and improve our health and well-being, simply increasing the number and volume of prescription drugs that Americans receive each year is not the way good medicine works. The common sense Veterans Overmedication Prevention Act is intended to address the links between over-medication and high rates of suicide among our veterans. It is a good start. In Congress, I will take the lead to make sound policies that reduce our over-medication crisis, reduce wasteful medical costs and improve the quality of American healthcare.
Prescription opioids now kill 164 Americans every day. The system we trusted to protect us failed completely. Worse, the leadership on this dire and complex issue is sorely lacking in Washington. I will lead support for the resources to fight this epidemic and push for reforms to a system that allows the clear exploitation of pain and suffering for profit. I will lead a Congressional investigation into the painkiller industry and force the perpetrators to pay reparations for what they have done to American society.