You should know that drug prices are going down in the European Union, which is good for consumers — if you live in Europe. On our side of the ocean, according to AARP’s most recent price report, US drug price increases are on an even greater tare than previously reported – almost 10% over the last year. Analysts suggest that pharmaceutical companies continue to jack up prices on brand name drugs so that government-mandated rebates have less impact on corporate profits. Other reasons may include the need to compensate for lower prices in Europe and a desire to squeeze more profits in the face of pending patent expirations on several blockbuster drugs, such as Lipitor in 2011.
The bottom line is that the more drug prices go up now, the less meaningful the Medicare drug plan discounts will be later. Additionally, higher drug prices can push up Medicare drug plan premiums (up 11% in 2010 already) and have a major impact on tens of millions without health insurance or a drug benefit.Tagged with: Drug Prices, Healthcare Reform, Medicare, pharmaceutical companies