As many of you may have already noticed, there has been an increase in how much you pay for your drugs. Although inflation remained flat for the year ending in March 2010, the prices for brand-name drugs went up nearly 10 percent, according to AARP.
A recent report on prescription drug prices from The Sun News,
“Last year, the inflation rate was 0.3 percent, but drug prices went up over 9.7 percent,” said John Rother, executive vice president for policy at AARP. “That’s quite a contrast.”
And the price hikes don’t just affect people on Medicare.
Rother says the population aged 50 to 64 represents the biggest increase in people taking drugs, and for some of the most common conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
“The compounded effect is to raise the cost of prescription brand-name drugs way beyond people’s ability to pay,” he said, “particularly if they don’t have insurance.”
The rise in drug prices have really cut into the budget of many all over the US. In South Carolina for example, 713,000 people pay nearly 30 percent of their income on out-of-pocket medical costs including drugs.
The rise in prescription prices is being blamed on no countervailing pressure in the industry.
John Rother, executive vice president for policy at AARP says drug companies raise prices because “there is no countervailing pressure.” Moreover, he says, on average, the industry’s profit margin is about 20 percent.
“We want them to succeed, to be innovators,” he said. “But there’s a need to balance that with reasonable costs.”
Until a true solution can be found, Rother recommends that consumers should try to substitute generic drugs when possible, however not every drug has a generic equivalent available.
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