This week, AARP released a report showing that drug prices for more than 260 brand name drugs increased more than twice as fast as inflation in 2018.
While the rate of inflation was 2.4 percent, prescription drug prices for the drugs studied increased by 5.8 percent.
As an example, the authors point out the following example:
The average annual cost of drug therapy for one brand name drug used on a chronic basis would have been more than $5,000 lower in 2018 ($2,176 v. $7,202) had their retail price changes been limited to the rate of general inflation between 2006 and 2018.
The study authors emphasize that drug spending increases ‘will affect all Americans in some way and ‘increased government spending will ultimately lead to higher taxes and/or cuts to public programs.’
They advise policy makers to focus on changes that produce sustainable effects while balancing the need for improved health and the financial security of consumers and taxpayer-funded programs.
The report is a continuation of AARP’s Rx Watchdog report series that tracks manufacturer price changes for widely used prescription drugs.
You can read the full report here.