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Trump administration propose ruling requiring price transparency on TV ads

Published on 16/10/18 at 10:28am

US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, has announced a proposal which would require pharma firms to include the list price of any drug paid for by Medicare or Medicaid, that cost more than $35 a month, on the adverts promoting them on television.

“We will not wait for an industry with so many conflicting and perverse incentives to reform itself,” Azar said in a strongly worded speech at the National Academy of Medicine's annual forum. “Patients deserve to know what a given drug could cost when they're being told about the benefits and risks it may have. They deserve to know if the drug company has pushed their prices to abusive levels. And they deserve to know this every time they see a drug advertised to them on TV.”

“For too long, drug pricing has been like no other market,” he continued. “Prices are completely opaque, and the industry actually makes a point of claiming that their list prices are often meaningless.”

The call has come in the midst of Donald Trump’s crackdown on price hiking pharma firms. Azar’s proposal will now be released for public comment.

However the plan is expected to meet much resistance from the pharmaceutical industry. A similar ruling which would require pharma companies to include the price of the drugs being advertised in TV ads, was set aside by members of the US House of Representatives in September of this year.

Louis Goss

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