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Archive for Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Drug prices take jump in 2006

June 21, 2006

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— Brand-name drug prices jumped nearly 4 percent during the first three months of the year, raising costs for taxpayers subsidizing the Medicare drug program and for some of those participating in it, AARP said Tuesday.

AARP, an advocacy group for senior citizens, said the quarterly increase was the largest since 2000. Pharmaceutical companies said the increases were in line with overall medical inflation.

AARP surveyed the wholesale price of 197 brand-name and 75 generic drugs. While brand-name drugs increased 3.9 percent during the first three months of the year, there was no change in the cost of generic drugs, the group said. The Medicare plans emphasize generic drugs.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said drug prices had increased by 1.6 percent from January to May. It did not differentiate between brand-name and generic drugs.

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