Press Release

PhRMA Statement Regarding AARP Rx Price Watch Report

PhRMA November 20, 2014

Washington, D.C. (November 20, 2014) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President, Robert Zirkelbach issued the following statement:

“AARP has released another disingenuous report on prescription drug spending that cherry-picks data to advance a narrative that simply doesn’t match reality. The findings from the report have been contradicted by numerous studies, including recent federal government data showing that prescription drug spending will continue to grow at the same rate as overall health care costs over the next decade.”

In reviewing AARP’s report, other points to consider include:

  • Total spending on prescription medicines is a small share of total U.S. health care spending, accounting for just 10-12% of national health spending in 2013.
  • IMS Health data shows that innovator investments lead to medical advances and, over time, to generic copies consumers use at low cost for many years.
  • Research shows, that when actual use of generic and brands is accurately accounted for, the average cost of therapy has been declining, not increasing.
  • The report overemphasizes the impact of specialty medicines, which are used by a small number of beneficiaries and account for a small share of Medicare spending.

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