AARP: Drug Costs Jump 7.1 Percent in 2004

The 7.1 percent hike, slightly higher than 2003's 7.0 percent jump, continues a trend of increasing drug prices. Since the end of 1999, prices of more than 150 popular name-brand drugs have risen an average 35.1 percent, nearly three times the 13.5 percent inflation rate over that period, the report said. In 2004, inflation was 2.7 percent in 2004. By contrast, the price for 75 popular generic drugs hardly budged in 2004, rising 0.5 percent. In 2003, manufacturers' prices for generic drugs went up an average 13.3 percent.

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