Plus, the latest pharmacy and healthcare news to know this week.
Last Friday, Amgen, Merck, Eli Lilly, and the Association of National Advertisers filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, opposing a new regulation mandating that list prices of prescription drugs appear in direct-to-consumer TV ads. The new rule implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is set to take effect in July.
Why it Matters
The rule requires that television ads for prescription drugs covered by Medicare or Medicaid include the Wholesale Acquisition Cost if it is equal to or greater than $35 for a month’s fill or regular course of therapy. This is part of the HHS’ efforts to lower the cost of drugs and make the market more competitive. Supporters of the regulation believe that this move toward transparency will ensure that patients are not kept in the dark about the cost of their healthcare and will be able to make more informed decisions.
On the other hand, pharma companies critical of this new regulation argue that there is a discrepancy between the list price and the final price consumers pay. List prices may be much higher, as they don’t account for possible discounts and rebates pharmaceuticals provide. Simply revealing a list price also does not take into consideration differences between insurances, treatments, and patients. According to Amgen, the new rule fails to address a patient’s main concern: how much the medicine will cost them in the end.
With pharma companies pushing against the government’s efforts, it is uncertain whether this controversial regulation will actually have the chance to make a difference in costs.
More healthcare news to watch:
1. Rite Aid’s new partnership with Adobe aims to better the patient’s health and wellness experience. Forbes.
2. As prescription drug prices increase, one in 10 Americans skip doses to save money. CBS.
3. Fraud schemes involving genetic testing have been targeting Medicare beneficiaries. Tulsa World.
4. Last Monday, pharmacy organizations issued a letter to President Trump supporting DIR fee reform. Drug Topics.
5. In New York, a proposed legislation putting the state in control of negotiating prescription drug prices for Medicaid patients could lower costs and keep local pharmacies in business. AM New York.