Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Despite rhetoric about runaway prescriptiondrug prices, the cost of medicineis rising more slowly than the overall costof health care in the United States, officialsat the Pharmaceutical Research andManufacturers of America (PhRMA) said.Citing Consumer Price Index (CPI) figuresfrom July 2004 to July 2005, PhRMA officialsnoted that overall medical careprices rose by 4.2% during that period. Incontrast, the CPI for prescription drugsclimbed by only 3.4% during those 13months.

The drug manufacturing group is focusingattention on price changes for drugsin an effort to counteract "overhypedrhetoric" by groups such as the AARP thatclaim that drug prices are rising out ofcontrol.

In addition to showing a lower rate ofinflation than other health costs, theprice of prescription medicines is rising"much slower than other goods thatAmericans rely on every day," PhRMAsaid. In contrast, the group said that "fueloil increased a whopping 34.7% over thesame July-to-July period," while gasolineprices rose 18.1%; airline fares climbed6.8%; and the cost of water, sewer, andtrash collection services increased 4.9%.