Efforts to Reduce Spiralling Prescription Drug Costs
Only hours before the ruling was set to take effect a US Federal judge has blocked a government move requiring pharmaceutical companies to declare the price of their product in their advertisements, if the cost of the prescription medicine is more than $35 a month.
How much is your Drug?
The US NPR have reported that government officials and patient advocate groups felt that the move would help to pressure pharmaceutical companies into curbing the price of their drugs, although there is some scepticism over just how effective this move might be on its own. Nonetheless, the US Department Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Alex Azar said he was telling drug companies, "You've got to level with people" about drug prices, "“Put it in the TV ads. Patients have a right to know, and if you’re ashamed of your drug prices, change your drug prices. It’s that simple". Mr Azar is also a former pharmaceutical company executive.
What will this Medicine Cost me?
Pharmaceutical companies are unhappy about the prospect of having to disclose their drug pricing in advertisements claiming it is a violation of their First Amendment Rights according to a Dark Daily report. They go on to say, "This summer, several pharma companies may have succeeded in getting a federal court to stop this particular rule to disclose prescription drug prices. But the trend toward price transparency has deep roots and will continue forward".
For further information see The Washington Times report on the use of 'free market solutions' to lower medicine costs for patients and particularly for the elderly.
NB The above report relates to the US market, but may also have implications for the medical private sector in the UK.