Does it seem like your prescription drugs are cost more now t han they did a year ago? It’s probably not your imagination, especially if you’re an older American. The AARP has found that the retail prices of the brand name prescription drugs most used by older Americans have gone up an average of 8.3% in the last year, even with negative inflation. And that’s not all. Over the last five years, retail prescription drug prices have increased a whopping 41.5% while the Consumer Price Index only increased 13.3%.
The drug with the biggest increase over the last year? Incontinence drug Flomax which went up an average of 24.8% in 2009, to $4.09 a pill. Boehringer-Ingelheim’s patent on Flomax expired this year, opening the door to competition from generic counterparts to the drug.
The results were more mixed among other popular brand name prescription drugs. According to the AARP Rx Price Watch Report, the retail prices of GlaxoSmithKline’s Advair and Pfizer’s Aricept each rose 40% last year, but the retail price of AstraZeneca’s Nexium only rose 6%, the retail price of Bristol-Meyers Squibb’s Plavix rose 8.8%, the retail price of Takeda’s Prevacid rose 7%, the retail price of Wyeth’s Protonix rose 6.8%, and the retail price of Pfizer’s Lipitor only rose 4.1%.
Pharmaceutical industry representatives stressed that the the AARP study does not reflect a general increase in prescription drug costs since more Americans have switched to using generic prescription drugs instead of brand name drugs.
Have your prescription drug costs been up lately? Tell us about it!
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