The price of the 20 most prescribed brand-name drugs in the Medicare Part D program increased an average 12% per year between 2012 and 2017, about 10 times more than the average annual rate of inflation, according to a report released this week by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Total price increases for the 20 drugs ranged from 31% to 477% over the five-year period, with six of the drugs more than doubling in price, based on the annual weighted average wholesale acquisition cost. “These findings underscore the need for further investigation by the committee and other policymakers into dramatic price spikes and their impact on health care system costs and financial burdens for the growing U.S. senior population,” the report states.

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