Medicare drug prices soar at 10 times rate of inflation, report says - (CNN Health via NewsPoints Desk)

  • A newly released congressional report revealed that the prices of the 20 drugs most commonly prescribed under Medicare increased by nearly 10-fold the rate of inflation of the last five years, CNN reported Monday.

  • "Can you imagine if you went to an auto dealership and last year's exact model was being sold at a 20 percent mark-up, and then you went back the next year and it had happened again," questioned Senator Claire McCaskill, adding "that's exactly what's happening in the prescription drug industry, where the cost of identical drugs skyrockets year after year."

  • "Soaring pharmaceutical drug prices remain a critical concern for patients and policymakers alike," the report stated, continuing "over the last decade, these significant price increases have emerged as a dominant driver of US health care costs -- a trend experts anticipate will continue at a rapid pace."

  • The analysis indicated the increases between 2012 and 2017 ranged from 31 percent for Zostavax to 477 percent for Nitrostat.

  • The report also noted that the prices of 12 of the 20 examined drugs rose by more than 50 percent, with the prices of six drugs more than doubling.

  • The report comes after US President Donald Trump pledged on several occasions to take action to combat rising drug prices.

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