Retail drug prices up 25 percent, government report finds

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Retail drug prices increased 25 percent nationwide from 2000 to 2004, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) yesterday. 
The report found that the price of a 30-day supply of 96 drugs commonly used by older Americans rose 24.5 percent from January 2000 through December 2004.
Twenty of the medications accounted for almost two-thirds of the increase, the report said.
"The drug with the largest effect on the price index was Lipitor 10 mg, which accounted for 6.6 percent of the total increase," the report read.
Lipitor is the world's best-selling prescription drug with approximately $12 billion in global sales.
The analysis took into account the usual price paid by uninsured patients at retail pharmacies, the average price paid to drug makers by wholesalers and the list prices manufacturers suggest for sales to pharmacies, the report said.
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