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Prices of drugs commonly used by elderly rose faster than inflation

March 07, 2012|By Hugo Martin
(Ken Kwok / Los Angeles Times )

The price of drugs widely used by elderly Americans grew by almost double the rate of inflation from 2005 to 2009, according to a new study by the AARP.

The average retail price over the five-year period for the 469 drugs most often used by AARP members grew by 25.6%, compared to the 13.3% rise in inflation over the same period, according to the report.

The report also says that 406 of the 469 most commonly used drugs are used to treat chronic conditions and that the average cost of taking such medicines for chronic conditions was $1,152 higher in 2009 than it was five years earlier.

"These findings are attributable entirely to drug price growth among brand and specialty drugs, which more than offset substantial price decreases among generic drugs," the report concluded.

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