August 25th, 2010
Reports the New York Times:
A new report on retail prices of brand-name drugs shows the 217 products most used by older Americans increased by an average of 8.3 percent during 2009, the largest increase in years, even as inflation was negative.
Over the last five years, according to the report to be released on Wednesday by the senior lobby AARP, the retail prices for the most popular brand-name drugs increased 41.5 percent, while the consumer price index rose 13.3 percent. An AARP official called for measures to hold down drug prices.
Drug industry officials challenged the finding, however, saying select brand-name prices did not reflect the reality of more people using low-price generic drugs. Generics now account for about 75 percent of all dispensed prescriptionsin the United States, according to IMS Health, a research firm.
The industry pointed to a broader survey of drug prices showing they rose by 3.4 percent during 2009. The survey, conducted by the government for its official Consumer Price Index, includes generic as well as brand-name drug prices, Jonathan Church, an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said on Tuesday.