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US wants drug prices on TV ads: 'Patients deserve to know'



The Federal Government said it would be asking to force drugmakers to disclose prices for prescription medicines in their TV commercials.

The drug industry's main trade group said drug companies are only willing to disclose the prices on their websites, not in

Health and Human Services Secretary Alexa Azar said: "It is most medicines."

Azar said in prepared remarks. "Patients deserve to know what a given drug could cost when they are told.

Most Americans do not pay the full price for prescriptions – one reason drugmakers have been quite confounding the list. But insurance plans base their copayments on the list set by drugmakers.

President Trump has long promised to bring down drug prices, and in May, his administration released a "blueprint" with vague proposals for doing so, including exploring listing prices in TV commercials.

Hours before Azar's announcement, the trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, known as PhRMA, said it would give the drug's list price, the range of likely out-of-pocket costs and any available financial assistance.

"We appreciate their effort," Azar said.

PhRMA CEO Stephen J. Ubl and others in the trade group said they would violate the companies' First Amendment free speech rights. But Azar, speaking at a National Academy of Medicine conference, said there is precedence for such a move, pointing out that federal law requires automakers to disclose stickers prices for cars.

Direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs has been allowed in the US for two decades.

Many details of the proposed rule have become obsolete, including whether it should be expanded to cover radio, print or internet ads. According to the proposal, TV commercials would cost more than $ 35 per month or for a standard course of treatment, as for an antibiotic.

If the rule

Drugmakers generally can charge as much as the US.

Azar's department plans to publicize the names of drugmakers that do not comply with them market wants bear because the government does not regulate medicine prices, unlike most other developed countries.

List prices have long been guarded, and those prices are the starting point for drugmakers' price negotiations with middlemen, such as insurance companies and Prescription Benefit Management

Pfizer's heavily advertised nerve pain drug Lyrica has a monthly.

list price of $ 669. Humira, AbbVie's treatment for immune system disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, has a list price of $ 4,872 per monthly injection.

Patients for Affordable Drugs, an advocacy group funded by foundations, called Pharma's website choice "a transparent attempt to pre-empt full list of ads in ads," adding that it does not

Follow Linda A. Johnson at https://twitter.com/LindaJ-onPharma

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The Associated Press Health & The Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


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