Drug prices rose about 2% in 1996

April 1, 1997
Pharmaceutical Representative

Last year's drug prices increased at an annual inflation rate of about 2%, according to an industry forecast and government figures.

Last year's drug prices increased at an annual inflation rate of about 2%, according to an industry forecast and government figures.

The findings contradict a report released by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Alexandria, VA, which found that drug prices rose 4.1% in 1996.

IMS America, Plymouth Meeting, PA, said overall prices increased at a rate of less than 2%. The finding was based on data gathered from IMS' databases for the first three quarters of 1996.

"Our databases have shown overall increases for the first, second and third quarters of 1.3%, 1.8% and 2%, respectively," said Robert Merold, vice president of marketing. "Based on this information, we believe it is impossible that the overall price increase for 1996 would be anywhere near the 4% previously reported."

In addition, recently released federal government figures show that the Producer Price Index for pharmaceuticals increased 2.1% from December 1995 to December 1996. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Washington, called this the lowest annual rate of increase since 1974. In 1995 and 1996, the rate of increase was 3.7% and 3.3%, respectively. PR