Last August AARP published an analysis stating that in 2009 brand-name drug prices increased by over 8%. Disturbingly, new AARP data shows that from 2009 to 2010, in the Rochester region of upstate New York, brand-name drug prices increased by a devastating 11%, almost seven times the average inflation rate of 1.6%.
The report, published by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the largest health insurer in the Rochester area, also finds that brand name drug prices increased by 93% between 2004 – 2010. This data explains why the number of Americans not taking their medication due to cost – 25 million – has almost doubled over the past ten years, a very sad state of affairs for America.
The report identified steep increases on popular brand name drugs for which there are no generic substitutes, such as Actos, Advair, Lipitor, Singulair and Nexium. For some American patients, U.S. prices are beyond reach and they must go without their medication. The exact same drugs can be found online from verified international online pharmacies at much lower prices, often 80% less, which can make the difference between people taking or not taking their prescribed medication.
The above-mentioned AARP report stated that “for those taking drugs for a chronic condition, the average retail cost of brand-name medications in 2005—the year before Medicare Part D was implemented—was $1,049. By 2009, that had jumped about 32 percent to $1,382.” These drastic price increases are not only devastating from a public health perspective, but they also put an unsustainable burden on taxpayers, as it is they who fund the Medicare government program.
The American people need to raise their voices louder until the Obama administration and Congress get the message that drug affordability is a major public health emergency.BlueCross BlueShield, brand-name, Congress, Drug Prices, inflation, Medicare Part D, New York, President Obama, taxpayers, United States