Why Do People Think US Health Care is Corrupt? – The Examples of Amgen, Mallinckrodt Settling Charges of Giving Kickbacks to Doctors to Induce them to Prescribe Their Products, While No Individual Suffers Negative Consequences

by ,   July 25, 2013

 

We recently posted a discussion of the results of Transparency International’s 2013 corruption barometer, focusing on the US results.  43% of survey respondents thought US health care is corrupt.  Our coverage, apparently the only substantial discussion of the US results published in the US, got star ranking for a whileon Reddit.  But many anonymous commentators dismissed the survey results as coming from a naive public who does not understand health care economics.

I submit that one can recognize corruption without a degree in economics.  In fact, as we discussed in the initial post, there is a lot of evidence for the prevalence of health care corruption in the US, other developed countries, and globally.  It is just that such evidence rarely gets discussed in public (the anechoic effect, as we say on this blog), probably because doing so might make those who are profiting from the corruption uncomfortable.

So today let me summarize just the latest evidence about US health care corruption, as defined by Transparency International as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.  (Note that the Transparency International definition of corruption, which is an ethical, not necessarily a legal definition, at least in most jurisdictions.)

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