“Extraordinary” rises in US drug prices are investigated by government agency

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 19 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c333
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    Lack of therapeutically equivalent drugs and limited competition contributed to “extraordinary price increases” in 416 brand name drugs between 2000 and 2008, the US General Accountability Office has reported.

    The price increases ranged up to 1000% or more. The drugs involved represented about 0.5% of all brand name drug products.

    Separately, AARP, formerly the Association of Retired Persons, which represents people aged over 50, said that the prices of the branded drugs most often used by Americans aged over 65 rose by an average of 9.3% from October 2008 to September 2009, “a period when there was no inflation and, in fact, other consumer prices actually dropped” (

    The association said that drug companies may increase prices in anticipation of changes in regulation as a result …

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