Pharmacy sticker shock: How brand-name drug increases stack up

December 23, 2016

Consumers have experienced it firsthand at the pharmacy: Their prescriptions climbing in price from one visit to the next.

Those increases aren’t isolated to a few drugs that treat a few conditions. In fact, the trend stretches across brand-name drugs at large. From 2008 to 2015, the average brand-name drug shot up 164 percent, according to the Express Scripts 2015 Drug Trend Report.

Compare that increase to the consumer price index, which measures spending on a range of goods and services from food and medical care to clothing and entertainment. During the same time, the CPI rose by 12 percent. That means brand-name drugs increased 13 times faster than the CPI.


Voices for Affordable Health is closely tracking trends in pharmaceutical drug increases, and we’ve compiled a variety of ways for you to take action:

  1. Learn more about the politics of Big Pharma and policies being debated in Congress, at the ballot box and in state legislatures to combat drug price increases
  2. Tell us your story. Have you seen your drug prices increase at a dramatic rate? Join the chorus of consumers sharing their stories.
  3. Take control. We have five ways to lower your prescription drug costs here and provide a number of health care resources in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington here.
  4. Follow the issue. Sign up to receive email updates as new policies are proposed and more consumers speak out.