Prescription drug prices doubled since 2006

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The average cost of a year's worth of prescription drugs more than doubled from 2006 to 2013—to more than $11,000 per year, according to a new report by AARP. The skyrocketing prices are unaffordable for many and hit senior citizens the hardest, the report says.

The average price per year of 622 prescription drugs widely used by seniors surged from $5,571 in 2006 to $11,341 in 2013, the latest year for which AARP data is available, said Leigh Purvis, director of health services research in AARP's Public Policy Institute. That amounts to a whopping 48 percent of the median income of people who receive Medicare benefits: $23,500, as of 2013, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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The surge in prices partly stems from the fact that costs of generic drugs, which are usually more affordable, rose since 2012. In some cases, the amount of generic versions being produced fell short of demand, leading to an increase in prices. In other cases, big pharmaceutical companies bought the rights to the generic drugs to increase their prices and make hefty profits.

The costs of approximately 20 drugs at least quadrupled since just December 2014, and 60 have seen their prices at least double during the same time frame, Bloomberg reported, according to a report from price-comparison software company DRX. Among the most infamous drug-price hikes was that of the anti-infection generic drug Daraprim, which was bought by Martin Shkreli's company Turing Pharmaceuticals and went from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

More on Shkreli:

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Former drug company executive Martin Shkreli
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Prescription drug prices doubled since 2006
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, departs after a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 26, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, center, and attorney Evan Greebel, left, exit federal court in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Shkreli was arrested on alleged securities fraud related to Retrophin Inc., a biotech firm he founded in 2011. Greebel is accused of conspiring with Shkreli in part of the scheme. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, exits federal court in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Shkreli was arrested on alleged securities fraud related to Retrophin Inc., a biotech firm he founded in 2011. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, sits for a photograph in his office in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. MSMB made an unsolicited $378 million takeover bid for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. and said it will fire the drugmaker's top management if successful. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption ** Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, works on a computer in his office in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. MSMB made an unsolicited $378 million takeover bid for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. and said it will fire the drugmaker's top management if successful. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption ** Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, sits behind a chess board in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. MSMB made an unsolicited $378 million takeover bid for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. and said it will fire the drugmaker's top management if successful. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption ** Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli (L), former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, arrives for a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, departs following a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., April 26, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Martin Shkreli (C), former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, arrives for a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Martin Shkreli (C), former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, arrives at a U.S. Federal Court in New York, U.S., June 6, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Former drug executive Martin Shkreli exits the U.S. Federal Courthouse in the Brooklyn borough of New York February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Martin Shkreli (top, R), former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, arrives before a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on "Developments in the Prescription Drug Market Oversight" on Capitol Hill in Washington February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, right, exits federal court with his attorney Benjamin Brafman in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, June 29, 2017. Shkreli is accused of engineering separate frauds tied to his control of two hedge funds he ran as well as�Retrophin Inc., a pharmaceutical company he founded in 2011. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli (C), chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, departs U.S. Federal Court after an arraignment following his being charged in a federal indictment filed in Brooklyn relating to his management of hedge fund MSMB Capital Management and biopharmaceutical company Retrophin Inc. in New York December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Bloomberg Best of the Year 2016: Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, reacts during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, smiles during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Rising prescription drug prices is a hot topic in the 2016 presidential race, with every candidate taking a stance on what they'd do to lower prices. Americans overwhelmingly support price controls on drug manufacturers (73 percent), and most Americans blame pharmaceutical companies for skyrocketing drug prices (65 percent), according to a HealthDay/Harris Poll from November 2015.

The post Prescription Drug Prices Doubled Since 2006 appeared first on Vocativ.

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