Thursday, December 17, 2015

Corporate Transformation of Prevention and Treatment of Cancer and Other Causes of Death

Sometimes it’s instructive to point out the obvious. Health care is the nation’s number one business, comprising 18% of the GDP and employing 10% of Americans. American corporations have seized upon these obvious facts and are now vigorously marketing cures and products to prevent and treat the leading causes of death.

This does not surprise me. In my 1988 book And Who Shall Care of the Sick? The Corporate Transformation of Medicine, I predicted it would take corporations with capital to mobilize specialists, deal with bureaucracy, organize institutions. and market health care.

This prediction has reached full flower with the treatment of cancer. Two large, well capitalized corporations, The Cancer Centers of America and MD Anderson – are in the midst of national campaigns to treat cancer, the nation’s number twp cause of death with 585,000 victims, just behind heart disease, which claims the lives of 611,000 Americans. Other corporations are not far behind as the market other products, primarily medications, to treat the other leading causes of death.

These causes are, in order of magnitude.

1. Heart disease

2. Cancer

3. Chronic obstructive lung disease

4. Accidents

5. Stroke

6. Alzheimer’s disease

7. Diabetes

8. Influenza and Pneumonia

9. Kidney disease

10. Suicide

Expect other corporate campaigns on these and other diseases to follow. Other than the causes listed above, the next candidates may be obesity and drug overdoses, primarily for opiates and related narcotics.

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