Prescription drugs priced at $10 in 2000 $18.51 in 2018

Historical Price Inflation for Prescription drugs

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Prices for Prescription Drugs, 2000-2018 ($10)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for prescription drugs were 85.07% higher in 2018 versus 2000 (a $8.51 difference in value).

Between 2000 and 2018: Prescription drugs experienced an average inflation rate of 3.48% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, prescription drugs costing $10 in the year 2000 would cost $18.51 in 2018 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.12% during this same period, inflation for prescription drugs was higher.

In the year 2000: Pricing changed by 4.41%, which is above the average yearly change for prescription drugs during the 2000-2018 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 2000 (3.38%), inflation for prescription drugs was higher.

Price Inflation for Prescription drugs since 1969

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1982 (11.69%), 1981 (11.47%), and 1983 (10.97%).

Raw Consumer Price Index data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Prescription drugs:

Year 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
CPI 46.600 47.383 47.392 47.217 47.058 48.200 51.167 53.958 57.175 61.617 66.358 72.458 80.767 90.208 100.100 109.708 120.100 130.417 140.850 152.033 165.258 181.708 199.650 214.717 223.008 230.550 235.042 242.867 249.267 258.625 273.375 285.425 300.842 316.475 326.267 337.108 349.042 364.000 369.225 378.312 391.070 407.824 424.976 440.136 442.580 458.363 479.329 502.539 519.634 528.246

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Buying power of $10 since 2000

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Prescription drugs, over time, for $10 beginning in 2000. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
2000 $10.00 4.41%
2001 $10.54 5.40%
2002 $11.09 5.20%
2003 $11.43 3.09%
2004 $11.81 3.32%
2005 $12.23 3.54%
2006 $12.75 4.29%
2007 $12.94 1.44%
2008 $13.25 2.46%
2009 $13.70 3.37%
2010 $14.29 4.28%
2011 $14.89 4.21%
2012 $15.42 3.57%
2013 $15.51 0.56%
2014 $16.06 3.57%
2015 $16.79 4.57%
2016 $17.61 4.84%
2017 $18.21 3.40%
2018 $18.51 1.66%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

How to calculate the inflation rate for prescription drugs, 2000-2018

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 2000 * 2000 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Prescription drugs was 285.425 in the year 2000 and 528.246 in 2018:

528.246 / 285.425 * $10 = $18.51

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $10 in 2000 has the same "purchasing power" as $18.51 in 2018 (in the CPI category of Prescription drugs).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for Prescription drugs in 1969. In addition to prescription drugs, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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