Scaring Seniors: The AARP Drug-Price Reports

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For five years, the redoubtable seniors advocacy organization AARP has published quarterly reports on the prices of brand-name drugs. These reports steadfastly announce that pharmaceutical prices have risen far more rapidly than inflation, thus increasing the financial burden on seniors--a puzzling conclusion, as many of the most expensive drugs are now available to seniors as far-cheaper generics. At this event, Murray Aitken, vice president of IMS Health, the world's largest source of drug-price and sales data, and MIT professor Ernst Berndt will explain why their research shows that average drug prices for seniors have declined, not increased, by more than 20 percent. AEI economist John E. Calfee will moderate.

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About the Author

 

John E.
Calfee
  • Economist John E. Calfee (1941-2011) studied the pharmaceutical industry and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the economics of tobacco, tort liability, and patents. He previously worked at the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Economics. He had also taught marketing and consumer behavior at the business schools of the University of Maryland at College Park and Boston University. While Mr. Calfee's writings are mostly on pharmaceutical markets and FDA regulation, his academic articles and opinion pieces covered a variety of topics, from patent law and tort liability to advertising and consumer information. His books include Prices, Markets, and the Pharmaceutical Revolution (AEI Press, 2000) and Biotechnology and the Patent System (AEI Press, 2007). Mr. Calfee wrote regularly for AEI's Health Policy Outlook series. He testified before Congress and federal agencies on various topics, including alcohol advertising; biodefense vaccine research; international drug prices; and FDA oversight of drug safety.

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Monday, September 22, 2014 | 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Policy implications of the new US labor market normal

We welcome you to join us as a panel of economists discuss US wage and price prospects in the coming months and the implications for the Federal Reserve’s current unorthodox monetary policy.

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