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AARP: Drug Prices Increase Faster Than Inflation


AARP: Drug Prices Increase Faster Than Inflation
Drug Makers Say Increases Match The Rise In All Healthcare Costs

POSTED: 5:11 pm EDT July 1, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A new study finds that prescription drug prices are rising faster than the rate of inflation. The nation's senior advocacy group AARP is calling it an outrage.

The new study concludes that prescription drug prices are soaring, confirming the worst fears of seniors

"They're angry and they're scared because these are drugs that they need to stay healthy and stay alive," said John Rother of AAPR

The study by AARP, the nation's largest seniors organization, says that in the first three months of this year, prices of popular brand-name prescription drugs increased by an average of 3.4 percent. That's almost three times the rate of inflation.

For example, the price of cholesterol drug Pravachol shot up 7 percent, arthritis drug Celebrex up 5 percent.

AARP's Rother says the federal government deserves some of the blame for not doing more to fight high prices, but says the drug makers are behaving irresponsibly. "The drug manufacturers have the ability to raise prices so they're trying to maximize their own revenue," Rother said.

In their defense, the drug manufacturers issued a statement, claiming that "the prices of medicines have increased at an equal rate to other healthcare services," suggesting that drug price increases are not out of line.

With prices spiraling upward some political analysts, now predict the cost of health care will be the number three issue in the presidential campaign -- right behind Iraq and the economy

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