US says TV medicine ads should include list prices


US health officials want to force pharmaceutical companies to disclose the prices of their products in television advertisements, setting up a clash with drugmakers who see the move as impinging free speech.
Under the proposed rule released, the Department of Health and Human Services would require drug companies to share in ads the full list prices of any medication that cost more than $35. The move was telegraphed in a White House plan for lowering prescription costs that was put out earlier this year.
Drugmakers have said that disclosing list prices without additional context would be confusing to patients. In anti- cipation of the administration’s move, the main industry trade group said that companies would put up websites to explain their prices to patients in greater detail. “It is no coincidence that the industry announced a new initiative today,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a speech at the National Academy of Medicine. “Placing information on a website is not the same as putting it right in an ad.” Azar had said earlier that the proposal to set up the sites was a “small step in the right direction.”
The industry group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said any US requirement to disclose list prices in advertising could violate the First Amendment because of restrictions on “compelled speech.”

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