Thursday, June 22, 2006

Berry Responds to Reports of Rising Prescription Drug Costs

I renewed my push today for a Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit with price negotiation after reviewing two reports released this week by the groups AARP and Families USA. The reports show significant price increases in the prescription drugs most commonly used by seniors since the enactment of the Bush Administration's Prescription Drug Benefit.

The first report, released by AARP, found that pharmaceutical companies charged 3.9% more for brand-name prescription drugs during the first quarter of this year. That increase is four times the rate of inflation during the first three months of the year and the largest quarterly price increase in six years.

Families USA echoed these findings in a similar report, showing that the median price for the top 20 prescription drugs used by seniors rose an average of 3.7% from mid-November 2005 to mid-April 2006. Those same 20 drugs were offered by the Veterans Administration (VA) at prices 46% below the lowest price charged by any Medicare Part D plan.

Click here to read my full reaction.