Branded prescription drug prices on the rise

WASHINGTON Retail prices of branded prescription drugs went up by 8.3% in 2009, according to an analysis released Wednesday by AARP.

The report, AARP’s first analysis of retail drug price trends, indicated that the price increases – in all but six of the 217 drugs studied – occurred despite general inflation remaining negative. Manufacturer prices increased more quickly, at 9.3%, according to the report. The organization also responded to criticism by drug companies that its drug price reports don’t take into account drug makers’ discounts and rebates by saying that the discounts do little to protect consumers.

“For the first time, we know that brand-name drug retail prices are growing just as quickly as manufacturer prices,” AARP EVP John Rother said in a statement. “These are increases that hit the wallets of every American, whether through their own healthcare bills or the costs of programs like Medicare and Medicaid.”