Manufactured Crisis: How Devastating Drug Price Increases are Harming America's Seniors
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Policy Agendas Project Major Code
Policy Agendas Project Minor Code
Additional, Minority, Dissenting Views
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Brief Executive Summary
At the request of Ranking Member Claire McCaskill, the minority staff of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs reviewed price increases in the last five years across the top 20 most-prescribed brand-name drugs for seniors. This report examines the history of rising drug prices for the brand-name drugs most commonly prescribed for seniors. Each year, Americans pay more for prescription drugs, and rising drug prices have a disproportionate impact on older Americans. Older individuals, for example, are far more likely to have used at least one prescription drug, as well as a greater number of prescription drugs, in the past 30 days than other Americans. In 2015 alone, the average retail prices for 768 prescription drugs widely purchased and used by older Americans increased 6.4% compared with a general inflation rate of 0.1%.Increases on brand-name drugs were even higher, with retail prices for brand-name drugs widely used by older Americans increasing by an average of 15.5% in 2015\342\200\224marking the fourth year in a row with a double-digit increase.