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A Tweak to TV Ads for Prescription Drugs Is Coming

Prices will have to be included
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 8, 2019 12:38 PM CDT
In this March 13, 2019, file phtooHealth and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – Those ever-present TV ads for prescription drugs will soon reveal prices, too, the nation's top health official said Wednesday, responding to a public outcry for government action to restrain medication costs. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the Trump administration has finalized regulations that will require drug companies to disclose list prices of medications costing more than $35 for a month's supply. "What I say to the companies is if you think the cost of your drug will scare people from buying your drugs, then lower your prices," Azar said. "Transparency for American patients is here." The AP has standout details and reaction:

  • Drug companies responded that adding prices to their commercials could unintentionally harm patients. "We are concerned that the administration's rule requiring list prices in direct-to-consumer television advertising could be confusing for patients and may discourage them from seeking needed medical care," said a statement from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main trade group.

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