Drugmakers to disclose prices in TV ads; Feds want to go further

Brunilde Fioravanti
Ottobre 16, 2018

They deserve to know if the drug company has pushed their prices to abusive levels. Federal health regulators proposed rules Monday that would require drugmakers to disclose the list price of drugs that cost more than $35 a month in their television ads. "Prices are completely opaque, and the industry actually makes a point of claiming that their list prices are often meaningless". "And they deserve to know this every time they see a drug advertised to them on TV".

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar unveiled a proposal that would apply to all brand-name drugs covered by the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which is most medicines.

It did not pledge to include the list price in commercials, arguing that they do not reflect the final amount paid by patients as it excludes rebates and discounts drugmakers may offer.

Holly Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade association known as "PhRMA", said the group is still digesting the announcement but she suggested industry executives aren't happy. And patients with high deductibles or no insurance do sometimes pay the full price.

"We appreciate their effort", Azar said.

"But placing information on a website is not the same as putting it right in an ad, and it's taken them five months since the president's (announced plan) to start skating to where the puck is going", he said.

Azar's comments come on the heels of President Donald Trump signing two pieces of legislation last week aimed at informing consumers about the lowest-cost drug option at the pharmacy. Officials said they would enforce the rule using both public shaming - a list would be published of companies that defy the regulation - and legal action.

Drugmakers generally can charge as much as the US market will bear because the government doesn't regulate medicine prices, unlike most other developed countries. HHS said it would maintain a public list of drug advertisements that do not comply. Humira, AbbVie's treatment for immune system disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, has a list price of $4,872 per monthly injection.

The agency said the transparency would serve to provide a "moderating force to counteract price increases", and also serve to give beneficiaries cost information, which is vital in decision-making.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE