Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game: Drug Pricing in America

Turing Pharmaceuticals recently faced intense public criticism after the company bought a 62-year-old drug and increased its price by 5,000 percent. Turing’s unusually outspoken chief executive officer, Martin Shkreli, strongly defended the decision, even going so far as to argue that the new price was still below market value. Shkreli’s brazenly unapologetic attitude — along with some eyebrow-raising behavior on social media — quickly earned him the title of “most-hated man in the United States.” A few months later, his …

Prescription Drug Costs Soar, Doubling in 7 Years

Thanks to drug manufacturer price hikes, the average cost for a year’s supply of a prescription drug has jumped to more than $11,000, or about 75 percent of the average annual Social Security retirement benefit and half the median income of someone on Medicare. This latest bad news for older patients’ pocketbooks come from a new AARP Public Policy Institute report, which shows retail prices for widely used medications increased at six times the rate of general inflation in 2013. …

Paying More for Your Rx Meds? 7 Ways to Save

Has this happened to you lately? You go to refill one of your regular prescriptions at the pharmacy and the copay has gone up — a lot. That’s a nasty little surprise that’s happened to 1 in 3 Americans in the last 12 months, according to a new Consumer Reports survey of more than 1,000 adults taking prescription meds. Those hit with sticker shock said they paid an average $39 above the usual cost for their prescription, with 1 in …

New Cholesterol Drug Is Effective — And $14,600 a Year

The first in a “revolutionary” new class of injected, cholesterol-lowering drugs has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but its price tag is likely to add to the growing debate over escalating medication costs. The drug, called Praluent, will cost about $14,600 a year — much higher than the $7,000 to $12,000 that some health-plan executives and Wall Street analysts had been expecting, according to the New York Times. It joins a number of new specialty drugs, …

AARP Report Finds Sky-High Drug Prices

Escalating drug prices have been making the news in recent months. In particular, the exorbitant price tags of two brand-name drugs used to treat Hepatitis C — Solvaldi and Harvoni — have ignited intense controversy. I talked with Leigh Purvis, director of health services research, AARP Public Policy Institute, and coauthor of AARP’s Rx Price Watch Report: Trends in Retail Prices of Brand Name Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans, 2006-2013 about the trend in rising drug prices and what …

Why Are Some Generic-Drug Prices Soaring?

Inexpensive generic drugs have helped millions of Americans save money on brand-name medication, but lately soaring prices on some longtime generics are prompting investigations into this pricing U-turn by pharmaceutical companies. In addition, a a new AARP drug-pricing report shows retail prices for brand-name prescription drugs continue to increase. The debate over some generic price hikes has spurred the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging to hold a hearing to review pricing on a dozen generics, and the Department …