Consumer Drug Prices Skyrocketing Past Cost of Living

If you want to see how the greed of drug companies really hurts Americans in their pocketbooks, I urge you to take a look at the latest study released today by AARP. The bottom line: Brand-name prescription drug prices rose 7.1 percent in 2004, close to three times the annual estimated increase in the cost of living.

The report, comparing the costs of some 200 brand-name prescription drugs used by Americans over age 50, underscores a continuing escalation of costs that are passed on to consumers in retail prices. An even bigger concern for AARP is the loophole the current administration embedded in the Medicare prescription drug benefit kicking in next year that prohibits the government from negotiating consumer drug prices.

Not surprisingly, the trade association for drugmakers, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, called the study exaggerated and misleading because it ignores factors that could affect pricing like rebates that could cut consumer costs.

Rising drug prices are merely a symptom of a much greater problem: A conventional health care paradigm in complete disarray and addicted to prescription drugs and needless medical procedures meant to "cure" problems. That paradigm becomes even more problematic when the federal government, with all the best intentions, steps in to try to help with programs like Medicare, a prescription for disaster.

That's why I remain so focused on my vision to transform the existing paradigm to one focused on preventing the underlying causes of disease through treating conditions in ways that are more natural, safer and far less expensive.

USA Today April 12, 2005

AARP April 12, 2005 Free Full-Text Studies

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