MANAGED CARE December 2002. ©MediMedia USA
A survey of 200 pharmacies in Detroit and some surrounding suburbs finds that inner-city patients have a much tougher time obtaining painkillers. "The same drugs that reduce suffering of cancer patients are coveted by illicit [drug] users for their massive highs, making drug stores targets for break-ins," reports the Detroit News, which conducted the survey. Some pharmacists have concluded that stocking the drugs isn't worth the risk.... Meanwhile, what may be a major reason for rising health care costs is utilization by those who are called the "worried well," people who see many health stories on a variety of media outlets. About 16 percent of U.S. residents had 11 doctor's visits and medical tests in 1997. That figure climbed to 22 percent in 2002, according to ABC news.