Report: drug price increased at 10x cost of inflation

A congressional report released Monday finds top 20 most-prescribed drugs for seniors increased during 2012-2017 at 10 times the cost of inflation.

A new congressional report examined the costs of the 20 most-prescribed medications for seniors over the past 5 years.

U.S. Senator Claire Mc Caskill released the study Monday as "part of her years-long effort to investigate" drug price increases, according to a media release.

The report found that prices increased on average by 12 percent every year which was about 10 times higher than the average annual rate of inflation.

The highest spike was a chest pain reliever soaring 477 percent.

Six of the 20 had prices increases of over 100 percent.

And twelve out of the 20 most commonly prescribed brand-name drugs for seniors had their prices increased by over 50 percent in that five-year period.

By law, Medicare is not allowed to directly negotiate drug prices.

Critics say this leads to tens of billions of dollars in unnecessary government spending, but supporters fear government intervention in the free market.

The report also claims although 48-million fewer prescriptions were written for those top 20 brand-name drugs for seniors between 2012 and 2017 and total sales revenue for drug companies increased by almost 8.5 billion dollars during the same period.

An industry group called the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America sharply criticized the report, calling it misleading.

But they did agree more can be done to help seniors.

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