Drugmakers will now have to reveal medicine prices

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Pharmaceutical companies will disclose the price of medicines in television advertisements to consumers. The step is taken up by the Trump administration to control rampant spending on drugs.

A major change taken up by Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar and drafted as a new federal rule, drug manufacturers are asked to reveal the list price of a 30-day supply of any drug that is covered through Medicare and Medicaid and costs more than USD 35 a month in ads.

This creates a commotion between the pharmaceutical industry and an HHS secretary. Whereas some health policy researchers are cynical regarding revealing of drug prices in television ads, because that would make the consumers to change their minds, behaviour and doctors’ prescribing habits, also they will become more price sensitive

The major pharmaceutical lobbying group declared that it would direct consumers to company websites with pricing information. It would give patients a variety of pricing information, including the list price of a drug, the expected out-of-pocket costs of the drug and the patient assistance programs available.

Steve Ubl, president of PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, squabbled regarding revealing of the list price of a medication in a television ad would lead to bemusement. He anticipated that the list price might deter patients from seeking medical care.

After Azar’s speech, senior federal health officials disagreed with the idea that the rule could be found unconstitutional, saying that the Supreme Court has upheld the government’s authority to ensure that consumers receive accurate information.

The officials would welcome suggestions on whether to expand the price-disclosure requirement to drug ads beyond those on television. As of now, the decision regarding the price that needs to be written is a type size that is legible to television-watchers and would not require the price to be said aloud. The requirements would apply to all prescription drugs that are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, regardless of whether they are manufactured within the United States.

Drugmakers that violated the price-listing rule would be reprimanded and penalized.

Reference: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/tv-ads-for-drugs-will-send-patients-to-websites-with-pricing-information/2018/10/15/b74ac344-d090-11e8-b2d2-f397227b43f0_story.html?utm_term=.0570e733132c

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