The average price for the 50 most commonly prescribed drugs for seniors rose nearly three times faster than inflation in 2001, according to a Families USA study released today. The average price for brand-name drugs, 40 of the 50 in the study, increased at four and a half times the rate of price increase for generic drugs. "There is no reasonable basis for these alarming price increases, which continue to make prescription drugs unaffordable for too many seniors," said Ron Pollack, Families USA's executive director. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said Senate Democrats will work to pass a Medicare prescription-drug benefit in July and approve legislation to get more generic drugs on the market. Meanwhile, the House is expected to debate Medicare drug legislation on the floor this week. -- Ed Lovern
Families USA: Drug price increases 'alarming'
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