Rx Watchdog Report: Trends in Prices of Prescription Drugs Used by Medicare Beneficiaries

Source: David J. Gross, Stephen W. Schondelmeyer, Leigh Purvis, AARP Policy & Research Research Report September 2008

From the press release:
According to a report released today by AARP, drug manufacturers have substantially raised prices on the 144 specialty drugs most commonly used by people in Medicare Part D.

The latest AARP Rx Watchdog Report, from AARP’s Public Policy Institute, is the first to look at what drug makers charge for specialty drugs, which include prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic conditions and require special administration, handling and care management. Specialty drugs are currently among the most expensive drugs on the market, with prices that can range from $5,000 to more than $300,000 per year.

According to the report, the prices of specialty drugs most commonly used by Medicare Part D beneficiaries have risen faster than the general inflation rate every year since 2004, peaking in 2007 when the price spiked by 8.7% – or three times the general rate of inflation (2.9%).

Brand Name Prescription Drugs
2007 Year-End Update (Publication ID: 2008-05), March 2008 (PDF, 49 pages)

Generic Prescription Drugs
2007 Year-End Update (Publication ID: 2008-08), May 2008 (PDF, 38 pages)

Specialty Prescription Drugs
2007 Year-End Update (Publication ID: 2008-15), September 2008 (PDF, 38 pages)

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