Many Part D plans increased drug prices during the year

October 4, 2007

Medicare Part D plans raised drug prices during plan year, according to a study by Consumer Reports.

Summary: Medicare Part D plans raised drug prices during plan year, according to a study by Consumer Reports.Many Part D plans increased drug prices during the yearAccording to research from Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, most Medicare Part D prescription drug plans increased the cost of some covered drugs during the plan year. Between February and September, 95% of the plans in the sampled areas raised drug costs for the studied medications. Only 15 of the 289 plans in the sampled areas lowered their prices. The study looked at drug prices for five widely used drugs in zip codes in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas. The examined prescriptions were for 30-day supplies of Altace 10 mg (ramipril, King Pharmaceuticals), Celebrex 200 mg (celecoxib, Pfizer), Lipitor 10 mg (atorvastatin, Pfizer), nifedipine ER 20 mg, and Zoloft 100 mg (sertraline, Pfizer). Price increases were often significant as well. The average price increase over the seven-month period ranged from $123 to $158. A quarter of the plans raised prices by at least 5%. Illinois' BlueMedicare Rx Standard plan had the largest rise at $679, a 28% increase. The data are in keeping with previous Consumers Union studies of Medicare Part D pricing.

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