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Retail Prescription Drug costs: 1995 and 2007

Drug Type 1995 2007
All prescriptions $30.01 $69.91
Brand drugs $40.22 $119.51
Generic drugs $14.84 $34.34

The average prescription drug cost is $69.91. Of that amount, the manufacturer receives $54.30, the wholesaler receives $2.44 and the retailer receives $13.17.

Ever wonder why over the last decade or so Wall Street gave a higher P/E ratio to Walgreens than most retailers received? If you guessed that it was because they were receiving, on average, 19% of the cost of prescription drugs, you get a gold star. Its also why Walmart selling generics for $4 killed Walgreens’ stock price.

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