The AARP Public Policy Institute released a report today showing that 2015 was the 4th straight year of double-digit average annual increases for widely used brand name drugs. The nonprofit organization also concluded that prices for brand name drugs increased almost 130 times faster than the 0.1% general inflation rate in 2015.
The report, which considered retail prices of 268 brand name prescription drugs used by older Americans between 2006 and 2015, found that the average cost for a single brand name drug for a chronic condition is nearly $6,000. Since the average older American takes 4.5 prescription drugs each month, the AARP’s report calculated the average annual cost of treatment is $26,000. The report’s authors pointed out that this is almost $2,000 more than the median income for Medicare beneficiaries.