Drug makers sue to block Trump rule to post prices in TV ads

Article Image

Three drug makers, along with an industry group, filed a lawsuit Friday to stop the Trump administration from requiring pharmaceutical companies to include t...

Posted: Jun 14, 2019 4:28 PM

Three drug makers, along with an industry group, filed a lawsuit Friday to stop the Trump administration from requiring pharmaceutical companies to include their list prices in television ads.

In the suit, filed in US District Court for the District of Columbia, Merck, Eli Lilly, Amgen and the Association of National Advertisers say the rule will mislead patients about how much they have to pay for medication and that the Department of Health and Human Services overstepped its authority.

"The impetus for the lawsuit is drug prices in TV ads, but the crux of it is HHS not having the authority to mandate this action," said Eli Lilly in a statement. "Not only does the rule exceed the department's statutory authority and raise freedom of speech concerns, the focus on a medicine's list price creates confusion because it's not the price most patients will pay."

Lowering drug prices has been a central focus of President Donald Trump, as well as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Experts, however, have questioned the usefulness of providing the list prices of medicine in ads, as most people with insurance pay far less. They fear that advertising list prices may scare patients away from drugs they could actually afford with their health insurance coverage.

Health Secretary Alex Azar served as president of Lilly USA, the company's largest affiliate, before joining the Trump administration. He has since lambasted his former industry peers for high drug costs.

"If the drug companies are embarrassed by their prices or afraid that the prices will scare patients away, they should lower them," Caitlin Oakley, an HHS spokeswoman, said in response to the lawsuit. "President Trump and Secretary Azar are committed to providing patients the information they need to make their own informed health care decisions."

The rule, announced last month, is the first to be implemented from the administration's blueprint to lower drug costs, which was released a year ago. It mandates that drug makers include the price for any medication that costs more than $35 for a month's supply or the usual course of treatment. The agency picked that price because it's roughly the average copay for a preferred brand-name drug.

"Requiring the inclusion of drugs' list prices in TV ads is the single most significant step any administration has taken toward a simple commitment: American patients deserve to know the prices of the health care they receive," Azar said at the time.

While the new rule does not have an enforcement mechanism, Azar said failing to include the price would be considered a deceptive trade practice and could prompt lawsuits by industry rivals.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4302

Reported Deaths: 154
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah117159
Marion97326
Washington74317
Clackamas31711
Deschutes1270
Umatilla1203
Linn1179
Polk10012
Lane773
Yamhill707
Jackson670
Benton555
Clatsop450
Jefferson440
Klamath440
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas270
Wasco241
Josephine241
Hood River180
Columbia160
Lincoln150
Morrow120
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 114733

Reported Deaths: 4217
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles560112386
Riverside7982331
San Diego7481269
Orange6474147
San Bernardino5355204
Alameda347096
Santa Clara2776141
San Francisco257043
Kern232238
San Mateo216584
Tulare189789
Imperial175129
Fresno174335
Santa Barbara164912
Contra Costa146838
Sacramento142958
Ventura115234
Kings11225
San Joaquin90834
Stanislaus74429
Sonoma5644
Monterey54510
Solano51722
Marin48314
Merced2837
San Luis Obispo2711
Santa Cruz2172
Placer2179
Yolo21124
Napa1133
Madera1062
Humboldt1013
El Dorado960
San Benito872
Butte510
Del Norte460
Sutter462
Nevada411
Shasta394
Mono371
Yuba301
Mendocino300
Lake210
Inyo201
Mariposa161
Glenn160
Calaveras150
Amador100
Siskiyou70
Colusa70
Lassen50
Plumas40
Tuolumne40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 66°
Brookings
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Crater Lake
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 57°
Grants Pass
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 64°
Klamath Falls
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 57°
Warm Monday, isolated showers
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events