Costs for 25 popular Medicare drugs have tripled

The list prices of the 25 most popular Medicare Part D drugs, on average, have more than tripled since they first entered the market, the AARP said Aug. 10. 

Drugs with more than 20 years on the market averaged a 592 percent price increase, drugs older than 16 to 20 years had a 266 percent increase, 12 to 15 years rose 135 percent, and less than 12 years on the market increased 58 percent. 

Twenty-four drug prices also rose faster than the rate of inflation — a trend the Inflation Reduction Act aims to block by issuing tax penalties to drugmakers with Medicare prescription drugs that outpace the inflation rate. HHS plans to reveal which 10 Medicare Part D drugs will be first up for the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program by Sept. 1. 

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a drugmaker lobbying group, said the AARP report is misleading and flawed. 

"It overlooks the role of insurers and pharmacy benefit middlemen who are getting massive rebates and discounts on medicines while forcing seniors to pay more," PhRMA said. "That's not surprising given AARP gets more revenue from insurers than it does from its members."

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