[Ip-health] Trump's Prescription Price Disclosure is Mostly a Sideshow

Peter Maybarduk pmaybarduk at citizen.org
Mon Oct 15 13:54:23 PDT 2018

For Immediate Release:
Oct. 15, 2018

Don Owens, dowens at citizen.org, (202) 588-7767
Mike Stankiewicz, mstankiewicz at citizen.org, (202) 588-7779

Trump's Prescription Price Disclosure is Mostly a Sideshow

Note: Today Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar announced a proposed rule that would require prescription drug corporations to disclose list prices in direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements. In anticipation of the proposed rule, industry trade group PhRMA announced that beginning in April, its member companies would include information on where viewers could find information on prices, expected out-of-pocket costs, and other information; such as a website. 

Statement of Peter Maybarduk, director, Public Citizen's Access to Medicines Program

The pro wrestling match between the Trump administration and Big Pharma over prescription price disclosure is a sideshow. 

Requiring list price disclosure would help spotlight pharma's price gouging, but industry executives are beyond shame. Even with this information, consumers and to a large extent payers have limited or no ability to choose an alternative product. This is due to the monopolies our government provides to prescription corporations, in the form of patents and other exclusivities, with virtually no conditions or restraints on abuse. The main choice a patient has is whether to go without a medicine she needs, which happens all too often.

No reform is too small or sensible to escape PhRMA's mighty fake wrath. PhRMA's refusal to accept even the Trump Administration's proposed modicum of transparency should make it obvious that our leaders need to fight for real and much larger stakes. 

The Trump administration should give up its charade of toughness and champion reforms that would bring meaningful relief to patients and consumers by leveraging government negotiation power, stopping price spikes, and curbing monopoly abuses: https://www.citizen.org/sites/default/files/legislative-priorities-two-pager-sep-2018.pdf

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