Mandating Price Reporting in Prescription Drug Advertisements

In May 2018, the Trump Administration released a blueprint titled “American Patients First”, detailing their plan to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients. While there are many approaches under evaluation, one strategy was to incentivize manufacturers to lower list prices by mandating list price reporting on prescription drug advertisements.  On May 8th, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services agreed to move forward with requiring manufacturers to show the list price on drug advertisements. This requirement applies to prescription drugs covered by Medicare or Medicaid and that are priced at $35 or more for a course of treatment or 1-month supply. The rule will soon appear in the Federal Register and take effect 60 days after publication.

Manufacturers have begun to adapt to these new changes prior to the new rule taking effect. In February, Johnson & Johnson became the first company to provide pricing for their blood thinner, Xarelto®. Xarelto® commercials now give the drug’s list price plus typical patient out-of-pocket costs. The information appears on screen at the end of the commercial and includes a website where people can enter their insurance information to get more specific cost information. Consumers are able to see that without insurance, Xarelto® costs $450-$540/month.

It is doubtful whether mandating drug prices on advertisements will reduce drug prices; however, patients and providers will have access to costs that were previously difficult to obtain.

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In June 2018, PHSI asked our followers about the impact of advertised list prices.  Find the results here:

What impacts do you expect from the inclusion of list prices in drug advertisements?  Will the cost information reduce the number of patients discussing these medications with their health care providers?


Posted May 2019


Read more at the update post: Update: Mandating Price Reporting in Prescription Drug Advertisements

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