CMS Proposes Drug Manufacturers Post Drug Prices in Television Ads

November 28, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed a new rule aimed at lowering prescription drug prices. Under the new rule, prescription drug manufacturers will have to post wholesale acquisition cost for drugs covered in Medicare or Medicaid in direct-to-consumer television advertisements.

“This historic proposal is an important way to create new incentives for drug companies to start lowering their list prices, rather than raising them,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “President Trump’s drug-pricing blueprint called for HHS to consider how to accomplish this goal, and now we are following through on this measure to better inform patients, help them lower their drug costs, and reduce unreasonable spending in Medicare and Medicaid.”

According to CMS, the proposed rule would allow for greater transparency into the prices that are set by drug manufacturers. It would also give beneficiaries important information they need to make informed decisions based on cost. Further, CMS said that “the price required to be posted would be for a typical course of treatment for an acute medication like an antibiotic, or a thirty day supply of medication for a chronic condition that is taken every month, and the posting would take the form of a legible textual statement at the end of the ad.”

CMS said that it would provide an exception for drugs with prices under $35 per month.

“President Trump and Secretary Azar are working tirelessly to bring down prescription drug prices, and today CMS is continuing to execute on the President’s blueprint,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma, MPH, said.

Julie Gould