According to a new AARP study, generic drugs are a better bargain than ever, and the new Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit has not held down the cost of branded pharmaceuticals. The senior group reported that brand name drug prices climbed nearly 4% during the first 3 months of the year?the biggest jump in 6 years. Generic drug manufacturers, however, have held the line on their prices during that same period.The result: a wider-than-ever price gap between branded and generic prescription drugs.
Researchers for AARP surveyed the wholesale price of 197 brand name and 75 generic drugs. A separate study by Families USA found that the median wholesale price for the top 20 drugs prescribed to seniors rose by 3.8% from November 15, 2005, to mid-April. AARP said the sleep medication Ambien showed the heftiest price increase?a 13.3% jump for the 5-mg strength, in addition to a 20% hike the year before.
One study linked multiple pregnancies to an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation later in life, and another investigated the association between premature delivery and cardiovascular disease.
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