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Drugmaker Makes Big Change to TV Ads

Johnson & Johnson will do what has never been done before
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 9, 2019 10:18 AM CST
Updated Feb 9, 2019 10:53 AM CST
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(Newser) – Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it will start giving the list price of its prescription drugs in television ads, the AP reports. The company would be the first drugmaker to take that step. The health care giant will begin with its popular blood thinner, Xarelto, says Scott White, head of J&J's North American pharmaceutical marketing. By late March, commercials will give the pill's list price plus typical out-of-pocket costs. The information will appear on screen at the end of the commercial and include a website where people can enter insurance information to get more specific costs. Without insurance, Xarelto costs $450 to $540 per month, depending on the pharmacy. About 1 million Xarelto prescriptions are filled in the US each month.

J&J's move comes amid growing scrutiny of soaring brand-name drug prices—and follows a Trump administration proposal to require list prices in TV ads. The pharmaceutical industry opposes that, arguing few people pay the high list prices. Some people's out-of-pocket costs, though, are based on list prices. The main drugmaker trade group instead recommends TV ads start listing a website that gives possible out-of-pocket costs and list prices. Last month, Eli Lilly started doing so, in ads for diabetes medicine Trulicity.

(Read more pharmaceutical industry stories.)

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