Is the Era of Cheap Generic Drugs About to End?

En español | Prices for generic drugs most commonly used by older Americans fell by the smallest percentage since 2006, with 1 in 4 rising in price — some by more than 1,000 percent, according to a new report from AARP’s Public Policy Institute (PPI). The report looked at 2013 price trends for 280 generic prescription medications widely used by those age 50-plus. The majority of these generics saw price decreases, some of them substantial, but the overall decline slowed …

The Painkiller Sending Adults 55+ to the ER

En español | Tramadol, a prescription painkiller thought to be less risky than other narcotic pain meds, has caused a sharp spike in emergency room visits, especially among patients 55 or older, two new government reports have found. Tramadol is typically used for the management of moderate to severe pain, such as for after surgery and for ongoing pain from arthritis. It is the active ingredient in such brand name medications as Ultram, Ultracet, ConZip, Ryzolt and Rybix ODT. When …

Historic FDA Approval May Help Lower Drug Costs

AARP applauds the FDA’s approval of the first biosimilar prescription drug product in the U.S. It is a welcome step toward a workable approval process that will provide consumers with much-needed access to safe, effective biosimilar drugs, as envisioned by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act in the Affordable Care Act. Today’s announcement marks the beginning of what AARP hopes will be a robust market that will offer consumers access to lower-cost alternatives to very expensive biologic medicines, such as those …

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 …

Medicare Open Enrollment: 3 Things to Know

Don’t miss the once-a-year opportunity to make changes to your Medicare plan. It’s that time of year again: Medicare Open Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. By now you should have received your Annual Notice of Change packet of information in the mail. It’s so important to take the time to sit down and review this information to see if you need to make any changes for next year. “Whether you have original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, …

Pharmacies May Soon Be Able to Take Back Old Drugs

Up to now, getting rid of old or unused prescription drugs from your medicine cabinet has not been easy: Drugs could not be legally returned to pharmacies; flushing them down the toilet or tossing them in the trash was discouraged because of environmental concerns; and taking them to a police station could only be done at a twice-a-year take-back events (the next one is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 27). >>  12 Foods to Beat Diabetes But fears about …