AARP: Cost Of Medication Rises 26 Percent

Megan Ray  |  April 11, 2012

An AARP report released earlier this month indicates that the price of medication for seniors over the age of 50 rose by 26 percent from 2005 to 2009, causing a strain on the budgets of many senior citizens.

Fox Business reports that brand-name and specialty drugs rose the most, gaining 48 and 41 percent over the same period. The price of generic drugs actually fell during this time period by 31 percent. The overall rate of inflation for the four-year timespan was 13 percent.

On average, the yearly cost to seniors went up more than $1,000, from $2,160 in 2005 to $3,168 in 2009.

The problem is exacerbated among those between the ages of 50 and 64. The news source reports that 8.9 million Americans in this age bracket do not have health insurance from their job, due to a lay-off or early retirement. However, they're also too young to qualify for Medicare, which would typically cover these costs.

The brand name drugs are also a problem, as a drug may lose up to 80 percent of its value once it goes off-brand. Many major drugs will be losing their patents in the next three to four years, allowing seniors to choose a more affordable generic option instead.