NYT: Prescription Drug Prices up 9 percent in Past YearPosted: November 16, 2009
Even as drug makers promise to support Washington’s health care overhaul by shaving $8 billion a year off the nation’s drug costs after the legislation takes effect, the industry has been raising its prices at the fastest rate in years. In the last year, the industry has raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by about 9 percent, according to industry analysts.
Medicare beneficiaries may have to shop for a better deal on a prescription-drug plan.
The average premium seniors pay for stand-alone drug plans will rise 11% to $38.94 a month in 2010, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on health-care issues. About 1.2 million Medicare beneficiaries would pay at least $10 more in monthly premiums if they remain in their current plan.
Changes are even greater for seniors receiving drug coverage as part of Medicare Advantage, private health plans subsidized by the federal government and offered through private insurers. The average monthly premium for those beneficiaries will rise by an average of 32%, to $48 a month, if they stay in their current plan, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.