Drugs must have prices in ads, Trump rules

The Trump administration’s plan to lower prescription drug prices has started with a new ruling that pharmaceutical companies will have to disclose drug prices in television commercials in the U.S.

The Department of Health and Human Services finalised a rule on Wednesday that requires drug-makers to disclose a drug’s cost if its price before rebates and discounts is above USD$35 for a month’s supply or the usual course of therapy.

The rule is the first move by regulators to implement a blueprint to lower drug prices laid out last year by President Donald Trump.

“Patients who are struggling with high drug costs are in that position because of the high list prices that drug companies set,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement unveiling the rule.

“Making those prices more transparent is a significant step in President Trump’s efforts to reform our prescription drug markets and put patients in charge of their own health care.”

The rule is likely to take effect on May 10 (Friday).

Drug makers have started disclosing their prices online, with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America urging members to redirect patients watching TV ads to the websites, which discusses different pricing scenarios rather than just the price list.

The trade association said the rule would give patients watching TV the false impression that they’re required to pay the full price and that the ads would deter patients from seeking treatment.

The ruling applies to drugs that are covered by the Medicare and Medicaid programmes.

source: http://www.bloomberg.com


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