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AARP reports jump in brand-name drug prices

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 24, 2010

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The costs to seniors of commonly used brand-name drugs are increasing, while costs for generic drugs are decreasing, according to a new AARP report.

Examining the drugs most widely prescribed to people in Medicare Part D, the AARP Rx Watchdog Report found that consumers were hit with nearly 10% increases in brand-name drug prices over the 12-month period ending in March of this year. The jump represented the largest yearly spike since AARP began tracking drug prices in 2002. Over the same period, prices of the generic drugs most widely used by Medicare beneficiaries fell 9.7%.

The average annual cost for a person taking three generic medications decreased by $51 during the year, a marked contrast to the $706 increase experienced by a person taking three brand-name prescriptions, AARP found.

The report was released May 17 and is available online (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/05/24/gvbf0524.htm.

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