The Trump administration wants to push pharmaceutical companies to lower prescription drug prices, and Minister of Health and Human Services Alex Azar told CNBC in an interview on Thursday.
Prescription drugs are generally more expensive in the United States than in other countries, and account for a larger proportion of spending on both individuals and the economy.
Prescription drugs accounted for about 12% of total US health care spending in 2016 was about 2.1% of national GDP. This puts the US in fourth place behind Hungary, Japan and Greece, according to the latest data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. However, the United States ranks first in the money that individuals spend on drugs each year – estimated at $ 1,208 per person.
The Trump administration has called on drug companies to reduce costs and cut costs by how drugs are priced in and paid. The new requirement will come into effect this summer and will apply to medicines that cost more than $ 35 a month. So far, pharmaceutical companies have had to disclose the main side effects a drug can have on TV advertising but not the price.
Azar compares the shift to regulators who have been calling for price tags for cars for decades, and does not necessarily want to discourage drug companies from promoting their drugs.
"What I am trying to do now is to bring more transparency to this advertising," he said. "These ads can create important discussions, people can identify conditions they may have, but most importantly, there must be a fair, balanced and informed discussion with the doctor, and without the pricing information, this is not an informed discussion."