Trump administration to appeal ruling barring proposed drug price disclosure policy

The administration of US President Donald Trump plans to appeal a recent federal court decision striking down a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposal that would have required pharmaceutical companies to disclose the list prices of certain prescription drugs in direct-to-consumer television advertisements, The Hill reported Wednesday. In the court ruling issued last month, the judge determined that the HHS lacked authority from the US Congress to force companies to disclose drug prices.

Amgen, Eli Lilly and Merck & Co. had filed a lawsuit seeking to block the new rule, which was scheduled to go into effect July 9. The policy required that adverts for drugs covered through Medicare and Medicaid include the wholesale acquisition cost if the amount was $35 or more for a month's supply or the usual course of therapy. However, the pharmaceutical industry had argued that the proposal might confuse patients because the list price is generally higher than that paid by the consumer due to discounts and payment assistance programmes. 

Last year, the Trump administration unveiled a blueprint outlining ways to rein in rising prescription drug costs in the US. HHS Secretary Alex Azar also confirmed recently that Trump was readying a proposal that would permit the import of drugs from Canada.

Meanwhile, the US government withdrew a plan last month that would have limited rebates that drugmakers could pay to pharmacy benefit managers (for related analysis, read ViewPoints: With rebates still standing, price control efforts turn their eyes abroad).  

To read more Top Story articles, click here.