Costs of prescriptions and doctor visits double in a decade

Consumers paid roughly double in 2006 for prescription drugs over what they paid in 1996 -- an average of $161 per prescription, versus $79 a decade earlier -- and the price of visiting a doctor or an emergency room also skyrocketed in that time. Those findings come from the Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which examined health-care expenses from 1996 to 2006 for adults between 18 and 44.