GENERIC PRICES CONTINUE TO DROP IN '06

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Generic medications are a better bargainthan ever, according to the results of a newAARP study showing that brand name prescriptiondrug prices are climbing at doublethe overall rate of inflation. Ten of the brandname drugs tracked by AARP's WatchdogReport increased at least 4 times the rate of general inflationduring 2006.

"Over time, escalating drug prices will make Medicaredrug plans unaffordable for older Americans," said DavidSloane, AARP's senior managing director of governmentrelations and advocacy.

On average, nearly 200 of the most commonly usedbrand name drugs for older adults rose 6.2% in 2006, AARPsaid. In contrast, manufacturer list prices for the 75 genericdrugs tracked by AARP's Watchdog Report fell by 2.0%last year, continuing the downward trend for the price ofgenerics that began in 2003.

AARP strongly supports several legislative measures toput even more downward pressure on prescription drugprices, including proposals to allow Medicare to negotiatePart D drug prices, and generic drug industry-supportedmeasures permitting generic versions of biologic drugs tobe brought to market.