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Drug prices

Executive Summary

Average wholesale prices for the top 20 drugs prescribed in 1987 to persons under age 65 increased 82% between 1985 and 1991. The costs for top 20 drugs used by the elderly increased by an average of 79% during the same period, according to a study by Lewin-ICF that was released Sept. 10 by the advocacy organization Families USA. Greatest increases were for Norwich Eaton's decongestant/expectorant Entex LA (phenylpropanolamine HCl/guaifenesin), which increased 150% in price between 1986 and 1991. Wyeth-Ayerst's Premarin, Inderal (propranolol HCl) and Isordil (isosorbide dinitrate) rose 148%, 129% and 120%, respectively. PMA issued a same-day response noting that drugs account for .07 of the health dollar and pointing to moderating inflation as measured by the Producer Price Index.
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