Tuesday, May 12, 2009
$24B in Three Years
CNN reported this afternoon that the government predicts a tax on soda could bring in the significant sum of $24B in three years.
I know of something that could bring in more than that in only ONE year!
The economic effect of CFS -- a neurological condition known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in the remainder of the English-speaking world -- is $26B per year in the US alone. If these patients, many of them highly-educated and formerly with paychecks to match, could be put back to work, it would be far more beneficial to the economy than a tax on soda.
Unfortunately, Ampligen, an anti-viral drug shown two decades ago to work miracles, and available in Belgium and Canada, is still tied up in FDA paperwork. They won't approve it for political reasons, but they can't find grounds to deny it for scientific reasons.
CDC and NIH combined allocate at most $6M a year to study a disease that they estimate affects 4-7 million Americans (more than AIDS, breast cancer and lung cancer combined; and more than 10 times as many people as have MS). This works out to about $1 per patient per year – compare that to $35/patient for epilepsy, $70 for autism, $250 for MS, and a whopping $650 per patient for cancer!
Today is CFS Awareness Day. Perhaps CNN's viewers would be intrigued to learn how easy it would be to put $26B back into the US economy.
Just speaking for myself alone, my being disabled because there's no medication to treat what I have has already cost the economy about half a million dollars. By retirement age, that will be far in excess of a million dollars. I cannot spend what I cannot earn, but I cannot return to work without treatment. And that statistic is for just one person. Multiply that by the millions of patients around the world, and the number is staggering.