Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > Study: Drug Prices Rose 26% in Five-year Period

Study: Drug Prices Rose 26% in Five-year Period

Posted 08 March 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

A study conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has found that drug prices increased 26% in between 2005 and 2009, outpacing inflation even as an influx of generic drugs depressed the prices of many popular prescriptions.

"At a time when our country is contracting economically and inflation is really, really low, inflation in the cost of prescription drugs is going in the other direction," said Cheryl Matheis, the senior vice president for policy strategy at AARP to The New York Times.

The report analyzed 514 brand name and generic drug products, and found that the prices for generic drugs fell 31% during the 2005 to 2009 period while brand name products rose 41% and specialty products by 49%. Inflation rose 13% during the same period of time.

The industry group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) disputed the study, saying that the study "paints an inaccurate picture of prescription drug spending" by ignoring the growth of drug spending relative to historical levels.

"In fact, government data show that in 2010 retail drug spending grew by just 1.2 percent, the slowest rate of growth on record," said PhRMA in a statement posted to their website.

Read more:

New York Times - AARP Study Says Price of Popular Drugs Rose 26%

PhRMA Statement on AARP Drug Pricing Report

Pharma Times - US drugmakers and seniors clash over price rise claims

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