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AARP warns brand name prescription drug prices are soaring

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 7:46 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Tough choices could be coming for many seniors.

Some may soon have to decide between paying skyrocketing prices for prescription drugs or paying their bills.

19 Investigates found there could be major consequences if inflation like this continues.

Higher health care costs could be coming, which will lead to poorer health, a new report from AARP warns.

If inflation of brand-name drug prices continues to rise, the report states many older Americans will face drug costs well above their yearly income and won’t be able to afford to take their medicine.

Between 2019 and 2020, retail prices for 260 brand-name prescriptions commonly used increased by 2.9 percent, according to the AARP.

That’s more than two times faster than inflation.

For brand-name prescription drugs often used by seniors, the average price increase each year has actually slowed over the last seven years.

But general inflation is hurting that progress, according to the report.

A single brand name prescription costs $6,604 on average a year in 2020.

And that really adds up, since the average older American uses nearly five prescription drugs.

In that case, the AARP reports the average senior spends $31,037 a year on brand-name prescription drugs.

That’s more than the median annual income of people who depend on Medicare.

AARP warns if these trends continue, you can expect higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.

For many seniors living on a fixed income, this could be a big problem.

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