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#1 User is offline   Liz 

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  Posted 08 May 2019 - 01:27 PM

Trump Admin Announces Groundbreaking Policy Requiring Drug Companies To Disclose Prices In TV Ads

BPR
Frieda Powers
May 8, 2019

Excerpt:

President Trump is taking aim at drug companies in an effort to lower prices for Americans.

The Trump administration announced a new policy Wednesday that will require that the cost of medications be disclosed in television advertising by drug manufacturers.

Pitting administration officials against an inevitable battle with lobbies representing the drug, television and advertising industries, the new rule requires that costs have to be revealed for any 30-day supply of Medicare and Medicaid-covered drugs costing over $35.

“American patients deserve to know the prices of the healthcare they receive,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement, touting the policy as the “single most significant step” undertaken by any administration.

“Patients who are struggling with high drug costs are in that position because of the high list prices that drug companies set,” he added. “Making those prices more transparent is a significant step in President Trump’s efforts to reform our prescription drug markets and put patients in charge of their own healthcare.

Quote

Today we’re telling drug companies they have to come clean to patients about the cost of their drugs: It’s time to put the prices in your TV ads. Transparency for American patients is here. https://t.co/DhBfsUSbkl

— Secretary Alex Azar (@SecAzar) May 8, 2019

Pharmaceutical companies will have to post information about the monthly cost of the medications onscreen at the end of advertisements, in clear and easy to read text. Any company that does not comply will be added to a list published by the HHS and may be subject to potential litigation.

The ruling will only apply to television advertising for now, where drug companies spend $4 billion a year, Azar explained.

“Patients have the right to know the prices of healthcare services, and CMS is serious about empowering patients with this information across-the-board,” Seema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said.

“Today’s final rule is an important step toward achieving President Trump’s vision for lowering prescription drug prices by bringing much-needed pricing transparency to the convoluted market for prescription drugs. Equipped with information on prescription drug prices, patients will be better able to make informed decisions and demand value from pharmaceutical companies,” Verma added.

*snip*

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#2 User is offline   Taggart Transcontinental 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 01:43 PM

Awesome! I would make them reveal the full price for patients at the highest cost. Usually that's medicare.
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#3 User is offline   mjperry51 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 01:57 PM

View PostTaggart Transcontinental, on 08 May 2019 - 01:43 PM, said:

Awesome! I would make them reveal the full price for patients at the highest cost. Usually that's medicare.

This strategy is fraught with peril.

Does the person have prescription coverage with an optional Medicare Advantage plan? I have several prescriptions that have a zero copay (nothing out of pocket) if I get them from my Advantage plan provider. I take Eliquis -- a prescription for which I have received several prices; CVS, GoodRX, and Humana Pharmacy. Range fo $150 -- $200 difference for a 30 day supply.

Retail List Price?
Which insurance company contract cost?
GoodRX Contract price?
Which pharmacy chain or store?
Does the manufacturer need to ascertain every potential point of sale price?

Too many variables to make this work well.
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#4 User is offline   Ladybird 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 02:15 PM

They will speed up the part mentioning the cost like the car commercials.
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#5 User is offline   Ben Cranklin 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 02:37 PM

Very interesting idea. Can't wait to see it.
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#6 User is offline   Ben Cranklin 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 02:43 PM

View Postmjperry51, on 08 May 2019 - 01:57 PM, said:

This strategy is fraught with peril.

Does the person have prescription coverage with an optional Medicare Advantage plan? I have several prescriptions that have a zero copay (nothing out of pocket) if I get them from my Advantage plan provider. I take Eliquis -- a prescription for which I have received several prices; CVS, GoodRX, and Humana Pharmacy. Range fo $150 -- $200 difference for a 30 day supply.

Retail List Price?
Which insurance company contract cost?
GoodRX Contract price?
Which pharmacy chain or store?
Does the manufacturer need to ascertain every potential point of sale price?

Too many variables to make this work well.


Maybe transparency about a manufacturers suggested base price will cut down on all the hanky panky of different pharmacies putting on their different markups. As for the insurance, if I know the suggested full cost of a prescription is $200 and one insurance wants $40 out of pocket from me while another wants $20, that helps me make decisions about my insurance vendor, too.
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#7 User is offline   mjperry51 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 03:02 PM

View PostBen Cranklin, on 08 May 2019 - 02:43 PM, said:

Maybe transparency about a manufacturers suggested base price will cut down on all the hanky panky of different pharmacies putting on their different markups. As for the insurance, if I know the suggested full cost of a prescription is $200 and one insurance wants $40 out of pocket from me while another wants $20, that helps me make decisions about my insurance vendor, too.


Still not that simple.

A large chain (CVS, Walgreens) will be able to negotiate annual volume discounts far exceeding those for a single location neighborhood pharmacy. Additionally they probably know the competition prices; that's how the free market works.

Insurance is another matter. Still the large providers (Anthem, Humana, etc.) probably keep a close eye on each other WRT prescription costs.

Point being -- the marketplace price forces are already in place. Unless of course there is price fixing happening.
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#8 User is offline   Weaseljd 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 03:15 PM

View Postmjperry51, on 08 May 2019 - 03:02 PM, said:

Still not that simple.

A large chain (CVS, Walgreens) will be able to negotiate annual volume discounts far exceeding those for a single location neighborhood pharmacy. Additionally they probably know the competition prices; that's how the free market works.

Insurance is another matter. Still the large providers (Anthem, Humana, etc.) probably keep a close eye on each other WRT prescription costs.

Point being -- the marketplace price forces are already in place. Unless of course there is price fixing happening.


As someone who has to review all too many medical bills and costs for litigation purposes, this is almost impossible to do. Are they going to force them to list the price the manufacturer sells the drug to brokers or reps or pharmacies, or end price sale cost? Is it the Medicare rate (which trust me, despite what someone said here earlier is NOT the highest rate), is it the book cost, the insurance cost (which can vary with every plan - especially between private insurance and ERISA plans? what cost do they list, especially as NO ONE every pays full costs for any drug or medical service. everything in the end gets discounted through either a write off, adjustment, self pay discount, private insurance of government insurance program.
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#9 User is offline   mjperry51 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 03:26 PM

View PostWeaseljd, on 08 May 2019 - 03:15 PM, said:

As someone who has to review all too many medical bills and costs for litigation purposes, this is almost impossible to do. Are they going to force them to list the price the manufacturer sells the drug to brokers or reps or pharmacies, or end price sale cost? Is it the Medicare rate (which trust me, despite what someone said here earlier is NOT the highest rate), is it the book cost, the insurance cost (which can vary with every plan - especially between private insurance and ERISA plans? what cost do they list, especially as NO ONE every pays full costs for any drug or medical service. everything in the end gets discounted through either a write off, adjustment, self pay discount, private insurance of government insurance program.


As I said -- too many variables. . .

ETA: Now one place a reference price might be useful is in a hospital. . .

This post has been edited by mjperry51: 08 May 2019 - 03:27 PM

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#10 User is offline   Ben Cranklin 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 03:39 PM

View Postmjperry51, on 08 May 2019 - 03:02 PM, said:

Still not that simple.

A large chain (CVS, Walgreens) will be able to negotiate annual volume discounts far exceeding those for a single location neighborhood pharmacy. Additionally they probably know the competition prices; that's how the free market works.

Well, I like that this is being tried and that it's inspiring moves like this later in the article:

"Some companies have already taken steps ahead of the administration ruling, with Johnson & Johnson earlier this year making the decision to disclose to consumers the prices of its prescription medicines, as well as any potential out-of-pocket costs to patients."


View Postmjperry51, on 08 May 2019 - 03:02 PM, said:


Insurance is another matter. Still the large providers (Anthem, Humana, etc.) probably keep a close eye on each other WRT prescription costs.

Point being -- the marketplace price forces are already in place. Unless of course there is price fixing happening.

Yeah, maybe we all need a little more information to find something like that out, rather than just have a few high priests guarding the complexities of a Byzantine system that could use some cleaning up in the light of day.

Edit to add: I used to pay $20 for 30 day supply of medicine under my old carrier. Had to switch for other reasons this open season, and with my new insurance company the same medicine is a little under a dollar. Wish I had more information somehow on why that is/was.

This post has been edited by Ben Cranklin: 08 May 2019 - 03:45 PM

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#11 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 04:25 PM

IMO they should not allow drug companies to advertise to non-physicians at all. Why do drug companies need to put ads on TV? Your physician should be the one deciding what you have and what best to treat it with.
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#12 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 04:38 PM

View PostSeverian, on 08 May 2019 - 04:25 PM, said:

IMO they should not allow drug companies to advertise to non-physicians at all. Why do drug companies need to put ads on TV? Your physician should be the one deciding what you have and what best to treat it with.


Yeah, this.

I've always been irritated by those ads. Why are they advertising prescription drugs to me? I can't write myself a prescription, and I don't pretend to know better than those who can write prescriptions.

B)
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#13 User is offline   Liz 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 04:51 PM

View PostSeverian, on 08 May 2019 - 04:25 PM, said:

IMO they should not allow drug companies to advertise to non-physicians at all. Why do drug companies need to put ads on TV? Your physician should be the one deciding what you have and what best to treat it with.

View PostMontyPython, on 08 May 2019 - 04:38 PM, said:

Yeah, this.

I've always been irritated by those ads. Why are they advertising prescription drugs to me? I can't write myself a prescription, and I don't pretend to know better than those who can write prescriptions.

B)

That drives me crazy too! I've always hated those ads.
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#14 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 05:03 PM

View PostSeverian, on 08 May 2019 - 04:25 PM, said:

IMO they should not allow drug companies to advertise to non-physicians at all. Why do drug companies need to put ads on TV? Your physician should be the one deciding what you have and what best to treat it with.



View PostMontyPython, on 08 May 2019 - 04:38 PM, said:

Yeah, this.

I've always been irritated by those ads. Why are they advertising prescription drugs to me? I can't write myself a prescription, and I don't pretend to know better than those who can write prescriptions.

B)



View PostLiz, on 08 May 2019 - 04:51 PM, said:

That drives me crazy too! I've always hated those ads.


Side effects may include: nausea, vomiting, water weight gain, water weight loss, lower back pain, receding hairline, eczema, seborrhea, psoriasis, itchy chafing clothing, liver spots, blood clots, ringworm, excessive body odor, uneven tire wear, pyorrhea, gonorrhea, diarrhea, halitosis, scoliosis, loss of bladder control, hammertoe, the shanks, low sperm count, warped floors, cluttered drawers, hunchback, heart attack, low resale value on your home, feline leukemia, athlete's foot, head lice, clubfoot, and/or sudden death.
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#15 User is offline   Ben Cranklin 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 05:07 PM

View PostSeverian, on 08 May 2019 - 04:25 PM, said:

IMO they should not allow drug companies to advertise to non-physicians at all. Why do drug companies need to put ads on TV? Your physician should be the one deciding what you have and what best to treat it with.


That sort of makes sense at first glance, except patients need to research a few things too so they can have an intelligent dialogue with physicians rather than just taking one-way dictation.

I had a family physician AND an endocrinologist saying that their test results showed my wife did NOT have hyperparathyroidism. But she was still exhausted and experiencing bone pain all the time and they had no explanation other than to imply that maybe it was all in her head. I researched hyperparathyroidism and found the promotional website of a specialized center in Tampa that described, to a tee, how most doctors misread those test results and how they often get things wrong because they don't specialize in diagnosing and treating hyperparathyroidism (not even endocrinologists). My mother lives close to Tampa, so I took my wife on a visit there and the people at the center found a tumor in one of her parathyroid glands (there are four) that had made that gland the size of a grape (when it should it be the size of a grain of rice). Out it came and she immediately felt much better. It would have continued damaging her if we had just did what our regular doctors said. And they're both highly regarded New York doctors and they f@cked up like that.

On the flip side, I found out after his death from a brain hemorrhage that my father was browbeaten by his regular doctor down in Florida into continuing to take a blood thinner that another doctor in Europe (my dad had made another visit to the old country a year or so before he died) had warned him to stop taking. "Who's the doctor here, you or me?" the regular, American doctor said.

You can't just rely on your physician. YOU have to brush up on things and know what's out there, too, including the different types of medications, what they're used for, and their side effects. If a commercial can help with that, fine.
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#16 User is offline   johnnybravo 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 05:12 PM

View PostMTP Reggie, on 08 May 2019 - 05:03 PM, said:

Side effects may include: nausea, vomiting, water weight gain, water weight loss, lower back pain, receding hairline, eczema, seborrhea, psoriasis, itchy chafing clothing, liver spots, blood clots, ringworm, excessive body odor, uneven tire wear, pyorrhea, gonorrhea, diarrhea, halitosis, scoliosis, loss of bladder control, hammertoe, the shanks, low sperm count, warped floors, cluttered drawers, hunchback, heart attack, low resale value on your home, feline leukemia, athlete's foot, head lice, clubfoot, and/or sudden death.

Sometimes I just laugh at all the side effects at the end of commercials. They almost take up as much time as the actual commercial! Another side effect seems to be smiling because they are always smiling and laughing.
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#17 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 05:26 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 08 May 2019 - 04:38 PM, said:

Yeah, this.

I've always been irritated by those ads. Why are they advertising prescription drugs to me? I can't write myself a prescription, and I don't pretend to know better than those who can write prescriptions.

B)


:exactly:

I'm sick of all of their commercials.

I wish they never repealed the ban on advertising for pharmaceuticals that was in place up until the end of the 1970's or so.

I also HATE all of the cancer commercials every 15 minutes on TV and radio. I have had enough of that crap after watching my parents, family and friends being ravaged by it. I don't need a reminder of it again and again several times an hour every single day.

This post has been edited by Rock N' Roll Right Winger: 08 May 2019 - 05:28 PM

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#18 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 05:31 PM

View PostBen Cranklin, on 08 May 2019 - 05:07 PM, said:

That sort of makes sense at first glance, except patients need to research a few things too so they can have an intelligent dialogue with physicians rather than just taking one-way dictation.

I had a family physician AND an endocrinologist saying that their test results showed my wife did NOT have hyperparathyroidism. But she was still exhausted and experiencing bone pain all the time and they had no explanation other than to imply that maybe it was all in her head. I researched hyperparathyroidism and found the promotional website of a specialized center in Tampa that described, to a tee, how most doctors misread those test results and how they often get things wrong because they don't specialize in diagnosing and treating hyperparathyroidism (not even endocrinologists). My mother lives close to Tampa, so I took my wife on a visit there and the people at the center found a tumor in one of her parathyroid glands (there are four) that had made that gland the size of a grape (when it should it be the size of a grain of rice). Out it came and she immediately felt much better. It would have continued damaging her if we had just did what our regular doctors said. And they're both highly regarded New York doctors and they f@cked up like that.

On the flip side, I found out after his death from a brain hemorrhage that my father was browbeaten by his regular doctor down in Florida into continuing to take a blood thinner that another doctor in Europe (my dad had made another visit to the old country a year or so before he died) had warned him to stop taking. "Who's the doctor here, you or me?" the regular, American doctor said.

You can't just rely on your physician. YOU have to brush up on things and know what's out there, too, including the different types of medications, what they're used for, and their side effects. If a commercial can help with that, fine.


True, but anyone can look this stuff up on the internet if they like.

These damned commercials need to be banned.
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#19 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 05:35 PM

View PostBen Cranklin, on 08 May 2019 - 05:07 PM, said:

That sort of makes sense at first glance, except patients need to research a few things too so they can have an intelligent dialogue with physicians rather than just taking one-way dictation.

I had a family physician AND an endocrinologist saying that their test results showed my wife did NOT have hyperparathyroidism. But she was still exhausted and experiencing bone pain all the time and they had no explanation other than to imply that maybe it was all in her head. I researched hyperparathyroidism and found the promotional website of a specialized center in Tampa that described, to a tee, how most doctors misread those test results and how they often get things wrong because they don't specialize in diagnosing and treating hyperparathyroidism (not even endocrinologists). My mother lives close to Tampa, so I took my wife on a visit there and the people at the center found a tumor in one of her parathyroid glands (there are four) that had made that gland the size of a grape (when it should it be the size of a grain of rice). Out it came and she immediately felt much better. It would have continued damaging her if we had just did what our regular doctors said. And they're both highly regarded New York doctors and they f@cked up like that.

On the flip side, I found out after his death from a brain hemorrhage that my father was browbeaten by his regular doctor down in Florida into continuing to take a blood thinner that another doctor in Europe (my dad had made another visit to the old country a year or so before he died) had warned him to stop taking. "Who's the doctor here, you or me?" the regular, American doctor said.

You can't just rely on your physician. YOU have to brush up on things and know what's out there, too, including the different types of medications, what they're used for, and their side effects. If a commercial can help with that, fine.

And none of your experiences relate to ads for drugs on TV. No one ever said a clinic shouldn't be able to advertise services or their level of expertise, nor did anyone say the internet should not be allowed to post medical information about various conditions.
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#20 User is offline   Ben Cranklin 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 06:05 PM

View PostSeverian, on 08 May 2019 - 05:35 PM, said:

And none of your experiences relate to ads for drugs on TV. No one ever said a clinic shouldn't be able to advertise services or their level of expertise, nor did anyone say the internet should not be allowed to post medical information about various conditions.


You said, "Your physician should be the one deciding what you have and what best to treat it with." The whole point of my post was to argue that medical decisions shouldn't just be up to your doctor. The more informed patients are, from whatever source, the more they can work with a doctor to make a decision together. It's the patient's body, not the doctor's.

And there's no telling what my future experiences will be, or how useful or informative first hearing about a drug during a TV ad and storing it away in my memory bank might turn out to be. Certainly, there's a much larger chance something like that could turn into useful information than, say, another commercial about McDonald's hamburgers or Pepsi Cola will be.

There's a very simple and practical solution whenever you come across a commercial you don't like: change the channel or turn your attention to something else in the room for a minute.
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