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Drug Prices on TV? They May Be Coming.

Mr. Trump vowed in the Rose Garden of the White House last May that he would “bring soaring drug prices back down to earth.” He said this past week that “prescription drug prices have come down” for the first time in 51 years, crediting Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, for the development.

The administration wants drug makers to disclose the list prices of drugs in television advertisements, and in many ads, the sticker shock could be considerable. Two dosing pens of Humira, AbbVie’s heavily advertised rheumatoid arthritis and chronic plaque psoriasis medication, have an average retail price of $5,684, according to the website GoodRx, which tracks drug prices. Xeljanz, a Pfizer arthritis medication in heavy television rotation, costs about $80 a pill. Cosentyx, a Novartis medication for psoriasis, has a list price that amounts to $67,325 a year, the company said.

Drug companies say such information would be misleading in an advertisement because most consumers pay less than the list price, and they are lobbying the White House in an effort to kill or delay the rule. Officials could not say how long the White House review would take or when the final rule would be in place.

“Requiring list price disclosures could result in increased consumer confusion and may potentially deter patients from seeking care,” Robert W. Jones, a senior vice president for United States government relations at Pfizer, said in a recent letter to Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical company where Mr. Azar was once a top executive, said, “Many patients may incorrectly surmise that they are required to pay

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/23/us/politics/drug-prices-on-tv.html

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