65% increase in spending on spinal problems = No results but lots more people are taking OxyContin (or selling it).
Despite spending a dramatically higher amount than before on treatments for spinal pain, Americans aren't getting great results, according to a new study. The study, which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that spending on spinal treatments in the U.S. totaled almost $86 billion in 2005, up 65 percent from 1997 after adjusting for inflation. On an individual basis, people with spinal problems spent $6,096 each on medical care in 2005, as compared with $3,516 by those who didn't have such problems. The higher spinal treatment costs are driven by a much-larger outlay for drugs, particularly narcotic painkillers like OxyContin.