PhRMA: Drug list prices in ads would be confusing
The president and Congress have challenged the biopharmaceutical industry to be more transparent. We are voluntarily stepping up to the plate by providing patients with the information they need to make more informed health care decisions.
First, in direct-to-consumer television advertisements, our member companies will direct consumers to where they can find more information about medicine costs, including the list price of the medicine, potential out-of-pocket costs or other context about the cost of the medicine and available financial assistance.
We are the only sector in the health care system voluntarily disclosing our list prices.
Second, we are partnering with patient, pharmacist, provider and consumer groups to develop a new patient affordability platform, providing consumers with a single website where they can access information about medicines. On the site, consumers will be able to search by medicine to find public cost and affordability information, how to access company-specific patient assistance and help navigating their insurance coverage.
OUR VIEW: Transparency in TV ads is overdue
Flashing a list price in an advertisement would be confusing and might deter patients from seeking needed care. List prices are not a good indicator of what patients will pay, because their insurers determine what they pay out of pocket. Instead, we want to provide cost information in a comprehensive fashion. And patients want that, too.
Earlier this year, we went around the country to speak directly with patients about what information would be most helpful to them. The results were clear: By a ratio of 3 to 1, Americans want to know how much a medicine will actually cost them at the pharmacy counter and what help is available for affording their medicines compared with just including list prices. This is information they can act upon.
We share the goal of more transparency, and that is why we are taking these voluntary actions.
Stephen J. Ubl is president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
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