Manufacturers' prices for the prescription drugs most commonly used by older Americans climbed 3.4% during the first three months following enactment of the Medicare prescription drug benefit in December 2003, the AARP said. For the 197 drugs used most frequently by Americans 50 and older, the average annual price increase was 7.2% for the 12 months ended in March, three times general inflation, the AARP said. In the first quarter of 2004, prices rose for 16 of the 25 most frequently used drugs. In a written response, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said, "Government data, not PhRMA data, show that the prices of medicines have increased at an equal rate to other healthcare services." Read more on the AARP's Web site. -- by Tony Fong
Drug prices climb after Medicare law: AARP
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