Healthcare News & Insights

Drug prices rising even more sharply

Prices for brand name prescriptions are increasing 9% on average this year — hot on the heels of industry promises to help slash prescription costs by $8 billion.

While prices for almost all other goods have been dropping steadily — including generic medications which are down an average of 9% — costs for name brand drugs under patent protection are rising at rate not seen in years.

Critics say that the drug companies are trying to maximize profits now to make up for anticipated costs after health reform legislation passes. The final law is expected to include a provision that drug companies will give back up to $80 billion over the next 10 years in rebates to older Americans and government agencies.

The current increase in prices offsets the first year’s cost to drug makers.

For their part, drug makers say the price increases aren’t tied in any way to the expected health reform bills and are based solely on other market factors.

See the New York Times for more on this story.

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