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Home > Feature Articles > Health and Well Being Strategies

Green Medicine is a Health Care Imperative*

Health care is about transparency and prevention vs. instant cure...how does that affect green marketing?

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China gets bashed about the latest contamination problem

Batches of the blood thinner heparin were recalled worldwide last week, after at least 19 deaths and hundreds of allergic reactions were reported in the United States. The drug is commonly used to prevent clots in patients with heart trouble or during surgery.

The Food and Drug Administration found that some heparin ingredients produced in a Chinese factory had been contaminated with a man-made chemical called oversulfated chondroitin sulfate. The substance mimics the blood-thinning actions of heparin but is cheaper to produce.

It's still unclear how the chemical got into the heparin batches, but investigators aren't ruling out the possibility that a Chinese supplier tried to boost its profit by substituting the cheaper chemical for real heparin ingredients. LA TIMES

Transparency in Information...Key to Marketing Messages

...but the real question is one of transparency. Transparency requires monitoring, disclosure of information about the supply chain of products. Many companies feel this is disclosure of competitive advantages -- after all, your system is your business model.

Accountability

But in health care -- or any essential product or service -- transparency is about having 100% accountability. And the buyer of the product needs to rely on the system put in place to provide that security. After all, aren't reliable results what they pay extra for? And medicine today certainly charges that "extra" amount that high performance is supposedly offered.

This brings to mind the change in consumer perceptions about health care. And it ties directly into attitudes about "greening".

It's about cures vs. prevention.

Preventative health care has always struggled. Eating less and better just isn't attractive when restaurants place huge helpings in front of you loaded with sugar and fat for tastes that explode on your taste buds. Exercise is just plain hard work and sweat still isn't very glamorous. But a diet pill is easy. Even if it costs $3 a pill. Even if it's made in China?

Consumers so far haven't been eager to pay that extra amount for green products because they don't offer an instant cure. Green is preventative:

  • Green prevents future increases in your electric bill
  • Green prevents future health care crises
  • Green prevents water supply shortages
  • Green prevents obesity
  • Green prevents getting a cold from your co-workers.

Americans don't like prevention. They are addicted to instant cures even more than they are addicted to oil!



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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