Market Overview

Drug Companies To Disclose Pricing Information In Ads

Drug Companies To Disclose Pricing Information In Ads

When anger over EpiPen pricing erupted in 2016, generic drugmaker Mylan NV (NASDAQ: MYL) was villainized. 

The price of the autoinjector used for severe allergic reactions was hiked by about 500 percent between 2007 and 2016. 

Both Democrats and Republicans came out strongly against Mylan and its ilk, and President Donald Trump promised to take action to curb exorbitant drug prices and unveiled a plan to lower drug prices in May. 

Some drug companies are voluntarily initiating measures that could go a long way in controlling medication prices. 

What Happened

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America announced updated direct-to-consumer principles Monday. 

All DTC television ads that mention a prescription drug by name will include direction as to where patients can find information about the cost of drug, including the list price, estimated out-of-pocket costs incurred by patients as well as other context about the potential cost of the medicine, PhRMA's statement said. 

The revised principles would become effective April 15, 2019, although changes to member companies' ads will begin in the coming months, the organization said. 

"The Administration and Congress have called on our industry to provide cost information in DTC advertisements, and our members are voluntarily stepping up to the plate," PhRMA CEO Stephen Ubl said in a statement. 

Including only the list price in DTC ads could create confusion, according to PhRMA. Patients are instead concerned about a fuller picture of a drug's price, such as potential out-of-pocket costs and financial assistance that may be available, the organization said, citing a survey. 

What's Next

The announcement from PhRMA comes ahead of a speech by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who is expected to introduce a proposal to make it mandatory for drug companies to mention list prices in DTC ads.

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