This week in health: Prescription drugs have nearly doubled in price in under a decade, Colorado introduces contentious bill to increase vaccination rates, new supercomputers will have a shockingly human power source, obesity linked to poor memory.
Drug Price Hikes Mean Three Quarters Of Social Security Benefits Eaten Up By Prescriptions
Over the past seven years, the average cost for a year’s worth of a given prescription drug has doubled to over $11,000, according to senior citizen advocacy group AARP.
In a recent study, AARP found that the soaring annual average is roughly 75 percent of what an American receives in social security benefits per year, making “prescription medicines increasingly unaffordable for retirees and many other patients,” the AP reported. The hikes hit those with chronic or long-term illness the hardest, AARP added.
To arrive at this figure, the group followed price trends of 622 widely used drugs by seniors, be they generic or brand-name. They found that from 2006 to 2013, the average retail price more than doubled from $5,571 to $11,341.
This jump in cost is bad news for Medicare patients — since in some instances they must pay up to half the cost of a prescription — but AARP representative Leigh Purvis says such a spike spells bad times for all, as insurance premiums and taxes that fund Medicare will also increase to accommodate the rising drug costs. “This affects everyone,” Purvis said.