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TV Ads & Drug Prices — Court Pulls the Plug on Trump Decision

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Trump administration wants to force pharmaceutical companies to add the price of their drugs to those glitzy and very expensive TV commercials that are seen almost non-stop in daytime TV and late at night.

Last week was the week the new rule on those prices was to go into effect.

However, before the rule went into effect, U.S. District Judge Amit Metha put a halt to the administration’s decision. He responded to a suit filed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Merck, Eli Lilly, Amgen and the Association of National Advertisers.

Their contention is listing prices will confuse patients and with the high cost involved with some drugs, many will not seek medical care.

The judge decided to side with the drugmakers and said the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) does not have the authority to force the price disclosure. Metha did disagree — however — with the drug companies. His decision is based on what Congress allows the HHS to do.

“But no matter how vexing the problem of spiraling drug costs may be, HHS cannot do more than what Congress has authorized,” the judge wrote in his decision.

In May HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the price disclosure is part of the administration’s plan to drive down the cost of these high-priced drugs to consumers. Embarrassment  to the companies is the reason he used.

The HHS rule said if the price is $35 or more for a month’s supply then the price was to be included in the commercial. To put that in perspective, the 10 most advertised drugs average from $488 a month to $16,938.

Source link: Insurance Journal

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