A new report identifies nutritional supplementation as a cost-efficient approach that may ease the burden of chronic disease care on the health system.
Throughout the world, governments are increasingly facing up to the reality that demands on their health systems are becoming unsustainable. Commonly cited reasons for this include ageing populations and the escalating costs of drugs. Mostly, however, little or no attention is being paid to the fact that our healthcare services are generally only designed to treat the symptoms of diseases. Contrary to the impression we are given by the pharma industry and its stakeholders, the root cause prevention of health problems is essentially being ignored.
Given the rising incidence of diseases in our societies today, and the skyrocketing expenditures involved in treating them, the current approach to medicine basically amounts to doing the same thing repeatedly and keeping our fingers crossed hoping for a better result. In this respect, any politician or bureaucrat who claims the only options for avoiding the bankrupting of our healthcare systems involve cutting staff, raising charges, or rationing treatments either hasn’t examined the evidence or is deliberately misleading us.
For some years now, economic analyses have been showing that daily use of supplements can reduce national healthcare costs. To take one example, a study published in the American Journal of Managed Care in 2013 impressively examined 44 million adult inpatient episodes. The researchers found that supplement use reduced the average length of hospital stays by over 2 days and the average cost by more than US$4,700. Moreover, the likelihood of patients being readmitted to hospital was cut by almost 7 percent.
Research also shows that significant amounts of money could be saved even by something as simple as making sure a population gets adequate intakes of vitamin D. A review published in 2010 found that ensuring people in Germany get sufficient vitamin D could save that country over €37 billion (US$42 billion) a year in healthcare costs.
To learn more about the growing evidence that daily use of supplements can reduce national healthcare costs, read this article on our website.