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AARP Rx Price Watch Report: Tracking Retail Price Changes for Widely Used Prescription Drugs

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The latest Rx Price Watch report by Leigh Purvis and Dr. Stephen Schondelmeyer focuses on the events surrounding the patent expiration for the popular anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor. In particular, the report examines the variety of strategies reportedly used by Lipitor’s manufacturer to try to maintain revenue and market share after Lipitor’s patent expired, as well as changes in the price of Lipitor both before and after patent expiration. The report also discusses the implications of these events given the unprecedented number of widely used drugs that will go off patent and face generic competition in the next few years.

These AARP Public Policy Institute reports are a new iteration of our Rx Watchdog report series that has been tracking manufacturer price changes for widely used prescription drugs since 2004. The new name for this report series (i.e., Rx Price Watch) marks our switch to retail prices - or the amount that is actually charged to consumers (and/or insurers) - as our primary data source.  These reports are based on drugs widely used by Medicare beneficiaries; previous reports were based on utilization patterns for older Americans in general.

For more information, please contact the AARP Public Policy Institute at (202) 434-3890.

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