Cost of brand name medications soar

Some widely used medications are expected to lose their patent privileges this year, which will encourage a fleet of generic competitors to begin manufacturing similar prices, according to Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are steadily raising the prices of brand name drugs such as Lipitor, Xalatan Zyprexa, Clarinex, Lexapro, Avandia, Plavix and others.

So far, AARP's Rx Price Watch Report has documented that the retail price of drugs that will be facing competitors in 2011 or 2012 has shot up by 51 percent between 2004 and 2009.

This could have a big impact on older adults who are watching after their health during retirement living, because it could restrict access to some drugs.

Cost of brand name medications soar Fortunately, the price frenzy should dip when generics become available - or seniors will be able to choose the alternative drugs instead.

Reuters reports that two-thirds of the 15 top-selling medications experienced double-digit rises in price, because corporations are trying to make as much money as possible before patients can use other drugs to maintain an active lifestyle.

The price of Lipitor rose 11.4 percent last year, compared to an average of 5 percent annually from 2005 to 2010. Crestor, Singulair and Plavix rose even higher, with price increases reaching into the teens.

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