Prescription Prices Increasing Six Times Faster Than Inflation

Prices of brand name and specialty drugs are driving the trend, according to a recent report.

Retail prescription prices have increased six times faster than the general inflation rate of 1.5%, according to a new AARP Public Policy Institute report.

This brings the average annual cost of prescriptions to more than $11,000 which comes out to about 75% of the average annual Social Security benefit.

Based on the retail prices of 227 brand name, 115 specialty and 280 generic prescription drugs in 2013, the report found the average annual increase in retail prices for widely-used prescription drugs was 9.4%, compared with a general inflation rate of 1.5%.

The average annual cost of therapy for one prescription drug was $11,341, while the average annual increase for brand name drugs was 12.9%.

According to the report, the average annual increase for specialty drugs was 10.6%.

"If these trends continue, more and more Americans will simply be unable to afford the medications that they need to get and stay healthy,” said Debra Whitman, PhD, AARP’s Chief Public Policy Officer.

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