Drug prices for US elderly up 6 pct in 2005: study

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. prices for brand name prescription medications used most by older patients rose an average 6 percent in 2005, outpacing inflation for the sixth year in a row, according to a report released on Monday.

In fact, the price drug makers charge wholesalers and other purchases for branded drugs has risen 40 percent since 1999, compared with inflation, which grew 17 percent, AARP researchers found. In 2005, inflation was 3.4 percent.

The nation’s largest consumer group for the elderly reviewed 193 medications mostly for arthritis pain, osteoporosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other ailments that affect older Americans.

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