Prescription drugs priced at $10 in 1986 $40.93 in 2022

Prescription Drugs Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Prescription Drugs, 1986-2022 ($10)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for prescription drugs are 309.29% higher in 2022 versus 1986 (a $30.93 difference in value).

Between 1986 and 2022: Prescription drugs experienced an average inflation rate of 3.99% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, prescription drugs costing $10 in the year 1986 would cost $40.93 in 2022 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.76% during this same period, inflation for prescription drugs was higher.

In the year 1986: Pricing changed by 8.59%, which is significantly above the average yearly change for prescription drugs during the 1986-2022 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 1986 (1.90%), inflation for prescription drugs was much higher.

Price Inflation for Prescription drugs since 1935

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1982 (11.68%), 1947 (11.51%), and 1981 (11.48%).

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Buying power of $10.00 since 1986

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Prescription drugs, over time, for $10 beginning in 1986. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

YearUSD ValueInflation Rate
1986$10.008.59%
1987$10.808.00%
1988$11.667.93%
1989$12.678.69%
1990$13.939.96%
1991$15.319.89%
1992$16.477.55%
1993$17.103.86%
1994$17.683.38%
1995$18.021.93%
1996$18.623.34%
1997$19.112.64%
1998$19.833.76%
1999$20.965.70%
2000$21.894.41%
2001$23.075.41%
2002$24.275.20%
2003$25.023.09%
2004$25.853.31%
2005$26.763.54%
2006$27.914.28%
2007$28.311.43%
2008$29.012.47%
2009$29.993.38%
2010$31.274.29%
2011$32.594.21%
2012$33.753.57%
2013$33.940.55%
2014$35.143.56%
2015$36.754.58%
2016$38.534.84%
2017$39.843.40%
2018$40.491.61%
2019$40.39-0.23%
2020$40.801.01%
2021$40.06-1.82%
2022$40.932.18%*

* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.
** Extended periods of 0% inflation usually indicate incomplete underlying data. This can manifest as a sharp increase in inflation later on.


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

Year1935193619371938193919401941194219431944194519461947194819491950195119521953195419551956195719581959196019611962196319641965196619671968196919701971197219731974197519761977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989199019911992199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016201720182019202020212022
CPI30.60030.60030.80031.00031.00031.00031.40032.20032.50033.10033.50034.60038.58341.38042.26043.48045.54046.06046.02046.98047.68049.08050.80053.06054.26053.90052.04049.96048.86048.23347.75047.64046.74046.00046.58547.38547.40847.20847.06248.20051.16953.94657.17761.63166.38572.45480.76990.200100.100109.700120.100130.415140.846152.015165.231181.685199.662214.731223.023230.569235.023242.862249.262258.623273.377285.423300.854316.485326.269337.085349.015363.938369.157378.284391.055407.824424.981440.149442.580458.343479.315502.510519.618528.008526.785532.081522.392533.778

Adjust prescription drugs prices for inflation

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2022 / CPI in 1986 * 1986 USD value = 2022 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Prescription drugs was 130.415 in the year 1986 and 533.778 in 2022:

533.778 / 130.415 * $10 = $40.93

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $10 in 1986 has the same "purchasing power" as $40.93 in 2022 (in the CPI category of Prescription drugs).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for Prescription drugs in 1935. 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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