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GAO unmasks drug price index

WASHINGTON - A General Accounting Office investigation of government drug price monitoring has raised doubt about the value of the official drug price inflation measure as a policy-making tool.

The GAO's report last week, "Prescription Drug Prices: Official Index Overstates Producer Price Inflation," not only concludes that the Bureau of Labor Statistics' PPI-Drugs Index overstates prescription drug inflation, but also is unsuitable for relating the benefit of drugs to prices.

The BLS measure, the official wholesale index of U.S. drug prices,

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