HHS Secretary says several drug companies looking at 'substantial' price cuts

HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions that several drug companies are looking at "substantial and material" price cuts. He said in testimony before the committee that companies are working with PBMs to make sure "they are not discriminated against" for cutting their prices.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions that several drug companies are looking at "substantial and material" price cuts. He said in testimony before the committee that companies are working with PBMs to make sure "they are not discriminated against" for cutting their prices. PBMs currently have an incentive to provide more favorable coverage to drugs with higher list prices, Azar said. He did not identify any of the companies that were considering such price cuts. FDA also released guidance Tuesday to make it easier for drug companies to provide insurers and other payers with economic information about their drugs, including those that are not yet approved. Drug companies said this guidance will make it easier for them and insurers to enter into "value-based" contracts, in which the price of a drug is more closely tied to how well it works for patients in the real world. Azar also called on Congress to take action to ban gag clauses that prevent pharmacists from telling consumers about lower-priced drug options.