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And Major Means What?

“Drug-related deaths have grown to be a major US public health problem over the last two decades.  Between 2006 and 2015 there were more than 515,000 deaths from drug overdoses.…” This from a March 26 article in Science Magazine. The death rate averages 5,722 per year over the cited period.  Further, “the drug epidemic is a pressing concern among policymakers.” This concern translates to a $865 million research budget for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This budget funds $151,117 per individual drug-related death.

This year, 163,199 Americans are projected to die from lung cancer. The National Institute of Health Lung Cancer research budget for 2018 is $282 million.  This level of research amounts to only $1,727 per individual death. 

Lung cancer kills 28 times more people per year than drug addition, but the drug addiction research budget is 87 times larger then lung cancer’s on a per-death basis.  Clearly, our public health policy makers fail to understand the meaning of the word major.  The major and largely unaddressed US public health problem is death from lung cancer.

Stay the course.



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Most people are still under the misconception that lung cancer is only caused by cigarette smoking and therefore bring it on themselves and federal funding is minimal compared to funding for research of other cancers. It totally baffles me why their thinking isn't the same for drug use which is perpetrated for the most part by drug companies and doctors who are in bed together.

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Tom, I hope you don't mind I shared your post on the ALK positive Facebook group page. It is an eye opener for all of us dealing with lung cancer through NO FAULT of our own. Thank you for sharing.

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