AARP, the leading advocacy group for America’s seniors, released a new study confirming that brand name drug prices were way up – 8.3 % higher on average – in 2009. These large increases occurred during a year when the consumer price index was actually down by .4% . The report also finds that over the past five years, brand-name drug costs have increased by 41.5%, during which inflation only rose by 13%. Noteworthy in this report is that its authors, responding to pharmaceutical industry critics who contested that prior AARP reports only looked at manufacturer prices, derived the current findings by calculating the average retail prices of over 200 popular brand name drugs.
Not surprisingly, the pharmaceutical industry is now criticizing AARP’s new study. The Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) contends that it’s “unfair” to focus solely on brand-name prices, since generics in the U.S. are extraordinarily low-priced and make up 75% of all dispensed drugs in the country. When generic drugs are factored in, the average drug price increases are much lower. But, the problem of drug prices in the United States is not with generic drugs; it is with popular brand name drugs – the same brand name drugs that are sometimes 73% lower at Canadian and other international online pharmacies – which AARP members, and many Americans, can’t or struggle to afford.
One way for AARP members and all Americans to afford and obtain their needed prescriptions is to shop around. Price comparisons – between verified U.S. and international pharmacies – for thousands of different brand and generic drugs can be accessed at PharmacyChecker.com.Tagged with: AARP, Drug Prices, health, pharmacychecker.com, phrma