The United States Department of Health and Human Servies (HHS) approved a new regulation on advertisements which finalized on May 8, as part of the government’s effort and attempt to bring down the cost for Americans consumers. The new rule, which takes effect July this year, compels drugmakers to disclose the current list price of their prescription drugs in on-screen direct-to-viewer television advertisements.
Appalled by the new requirement, Amgen, Eli Lily, Merck, and the Association of National Advertisers jointly filed a lawsuit.
The pharmaceutical companies argue against the rule because the list prices do not necessarily reflect the actual final retail price paid by patients and consumers as it excludes discounts and other rebates that the drug companies offer their clients.
Amgen stated, “Not only does the [new regulation] raise serious freedom of speech concerns, it mandates an approach that fails to account for differences among insurance, treatments, and patients themselves.” This is especially clear in only placing list prices without the other payment commissions and considerations.
Besides, the list price does not immediately answer the fundamental question of every patient buying drugs: How much will I have to pay for my prescription medicine? Amgen further added.
HHS has not immediately responded to a request for an answer.