Drug wholesale prices up over 7% in 2007

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Pharmaceutical manufacturers increased wholesale prices for the 50 top-selling branded medications by an average of 7.82% in 2007, after increases of 6.73% and 6.22% in the previous two years, according to data from marketing research firm Delta Marketing Dynamics.

The most recent increase is almost double the overall U.S. economy's 4.1% annual inflation rate last year, a report in today's Wall Street Journal said.

GlaxoSmithKline raised the price of its antidepressant Wellbutrin XL by 44.5% from 2005 to 2007. Sanofi Aventis raised the price of its sleep drug Ambien 70.1%.

Shire upped the price of its attention-deficit disorder treatement, Adderall XR, by 33.5%.

Pfizer's cholesterol-fighting Lipitor -- the world's top-selling Rx drug with $13 billion in sales, rose 16%.

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