Pills in a bottle/Credit: coffeehuman/Shutterstock.com

The average prices of top-selling drugs used by Medicare enrollees have tripled in cost since coming on the market, a new report from AARP has found. List prices for these drugs have increased by an average of 226%, rising at a considerably higher rate than inflation, and AARP officials said this reflected a general trend in the pharmaceutical industry. The report also points to recently passed legislation that allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices in an effort to moderate rising drug costs for both Medicare enrollees and those in private health plans.

The AARP study noted that drug price increases cause real hardships for consumers. “This pricing behavior can be particularly challenging for Medicare Part D enrollees, who take an average of four or five prescription drugs every month and often face cost sharing that is directly affected by drug price increases,” the report said. “One in five older adults report engaging in cost-coping strategies such as not filling a prescription or skipping doses to save money on their prescription medications.”

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