Trend: Painkiller prices rise 15%

A new study commissioned by Consumers Union finds that recent changes in the prescription painkiller market have meant a climb in prices for most painkillers. The research looks at pricing trends in the period since last September, when Merck was forced to withdraw the Cox-2 painkiller Vioxx from the market. Prices have risen on average 15 percent for drugs remaining on the market, according to a survey of data provided by NDCIHealth. Consumers Union found prices for Johnson & Johnson's Motrin were up 13 percent over the time frame. Prices for Bohlinger-Ingleheim's Mobic jumped about 10 percent.

Consumers Union also put out an updated NSAID report on Thursday. The group recommends that consumers with heart problems avoid the NSAID class "until safety issues are resolved." For those making purchases, generics remain the best value, according to the report. Consumers Union notes that the average monthly cost for Mobic was $110 against $30 for generic ibuprofen.

- see this story from the Los Angeles Times
- see this report from Consumer's Union Best Buy Drugs