The price of brand name drugs widely used by Medicare recipients rose an average 9.7 percent over the past year, according to the latest report from AARP, which notes inflation rose only 0.3 percent.  The price increase is the biggest year-over-year jump since AARP began tracking drug prices in 2002.  The average annual cost for a single brand name medicine was about $2,190 in the 12 months that ended the first quarter of this year, AARP found.  The average price of specialty drugs rose 9.2 percent. This includes biologic and injected drugs used to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis and other serious chronic conditions. The average annual cost for a single specialty medication was more than $34,550, AARP said.  Average generic drug prices prices dropped 9.7 percent, the report showed.

Source:  Chicago Sun-Times (May 18, 2010)
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