22 billion reasons to keep growingMay 17, 2010
In 2003, the US Federal Drug Administration approved the use of human growth hormone for healthy short children in an attempt to make them taller. There is nothing medically wrong with these children; they produce normal levels of growth hormone on their own. They are simply short. Still, several pharmaceutical companies see the economical potential of the bias against short people. Healthy short children are turned into patients in need of treatment. This treatment involves subjecting the child to growth hormone injections an average of six times per week over a period of 5 to 10 years at an average cost of $20,000 annually, in order to gain between one and two more inches. The number of potential treatment candidates in the United States alone stands at 1.7 million children at an annual cost (i.e. revenue for the pharmaceutical industry) of $22 billion.
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