Drug costs doubled in one decade

Adult prescription drug expenditure doubled from 1996 to 2006, according to a report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). "The average expense for a prescription medication purchase was notably higher for [adults 18 to 44] in 2006 than in 1996 ($161 versus $79)," the group found. And prescription medications accounted for a larger share of all healthcare expenses for adults in 2006 than 1996.

Though the data was released in August, AHRQ didn't publicize it until this week. And what a week to pick. Congress is questioning why prescription drug prices have risen 10 percent this year, and the Senate is hearing testimony on the merits of reimportation as part of the healthcare overhaul.

- see the full study (.pdf)
- here's the write-up from Pharmalot