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Brand-drug costs rising faster than inflation.

The cost of brand drugs increased 12.5% last year, far outpacing inflation overall, Express Scripts said in its annual Drug Trend Report.

The overall U.S. inflation rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was only 1.7% in 2012.

From January 2008 to December 2012, the cost of an "unchanged market basket of brand drugs rose from $100 to $165.44," while the Consumer Price Index, which measures a broad selection of goods and services, went from $100 to $108.80.

The cost of an unchanged selection of generic drugs did the opposite over the same 5-year period, dropping to $57.38 by the end of 2012, according to the report. All dollar values have been adjusted to 2008 dollars. In 2012 alone, the cost of generic drugs dropped by 24.4%, following decreases of 3.7% in 2011, 14.7% in 2010, and 0.5% in 2009. The price of brand drugs rose 13.6% in 2011, 9.6% In 2010, and 9.1% in 2009, the report noted.

Caption: Brand-drug costs continue to rise as generic prices drop Note: Changes in price over the tracked for a fixed selection of the most commonly used prescription medications.


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Author:Franki, Richard
Publication:Family Practice News
Date:May 15, 2013
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