12 June 2008

Allergies = Profits?

Americans spent $11 billion on doctors' bills, prescription drugs and other treatments for allergies in 2005, according to government statistics released on Wednesday

The money they spent is nearly double the $6 billion spent in 2000 on allergies, the agency said.

Of the $11 billion, doctor visits accounted for $4 billion and prescription drugs cost $7 billion. -- Reuters, 11 Jun 2008

I have always wondered why Filipinos who go abroad to work and live there suffer from allergies (pollen, dust, etc.) but seldom complained about similar allergic symptoms while they were living in air-polluted cities like Metro Manila.

Anti-allergy medication in the US reaps billions of dollars annually. It is a profitable business venture. But in the Philippines --- specifically Metro Manila --- where we have one of the dirtiest air in the world, I wonder if the same products are making a killing.

Because majority of the people here would rather spend for food in the table, respiratory infections or allergies seldom merit attention. Don't get me wrong, though. Mortality is high. But death is not enough to stimulate the needed concern. Last year, it was reported that air pollution here claim the lives of nearly 5,000 people every year.
Of the urban cities, Metro Manila has the largest "health burden" from air pollution.

Estimates showed there were nearly 4,968 premature deaths each year in Manila due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases from exposure to poor air quality, according to the Philippine Environment Monitor, a joint report of the World Bank and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) released Tuesday. -- [PDI, Sept 2007]

I frequently encounter patients and friends who complain about their sinusitis problems, but when referred to an ENT, they find out that what they have is not really sinusitis but allergic rhinitis. Allergens like dust and air pollution are the usual suspects.

There will be less profits from a market who ignores their symptoms. These Filipinos will only complain and treat their allergies when they begin living in a society that places a premium on respiratory health.

Another evidence for the air pollution-allergy link:

1 reactions:

Aice Nice Concepts said...

i wonder may be its because the air in USA is not as polluted in Manila?

but that does mean the allergy medicine they spend living in USA are tremendous than living here in our country?

anyway your blog has been included on my The Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs in 2008 (^_^)
keep up the good work