Drug prices will soon appear in many TV ads

HHS Secretary Alex Azar reported Wednesday that the Trump administration has finalized regulations requiring drug companies to disclose list prices of medications costing more than $35 for a month’s supply all direct-to-consumer television advertisements for drugs covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar reported Wednesday that the Trump administration has finalized regulations requiring drug companies to disclose list prices of medications costing more than $35 for a month’s supply all direct-to-consumer television advertisements for drugs covered by Medicare or Medicaid. The proposal could be challenged by the drug industry, which argues that revealing the list price will confuse consumers and could violate companies' First Amendment rights. Although the list price of some drugs can be thousands of dollars a month, patients with insurance that covers their prescriptions frequently pay far less, often less than $50. HHS officials say television advertisements will also include a disclaimer stating, "if you have insurance that covers drugs, your cost may be different." Drug makers must update the price they disclose every quarter, which will be the product’s monthly cost or the price for a course of treatment if it is not a chronic medication. Azar said he expected enforcement of the rule to come from the industry itself, from competing drug companies who sue those who do not comply for deceptive trade practices.