Appeals court skeptical of Trump rule on TV drug ads - (The Hill via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Merck & Co., Eli Lilly and Amgen were in US federal appeals court Monday to fight a rule by the Trump administration that would require companies to disclose the list prices of their drugs in television advertising, reported The Hill.

  • The three companies argue that the rule, which was blocked by a federal court in July, is outside the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

  • The Trump administration urged the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to overturn that ruling, claiming it has the authority under the law to run the Medicare and Medicaid programs efficiently. 

  • However, the three-judge panel questioned the agency's authority to issue the rule and whether the disclosure of list prices would be helpful to consumers. 

  • "The problem is the cost of prescription drugs," said Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson, noting that the list price "is not the price I'll ever pay...I don't see [how the disclosures in TV ads are] a solution to the problem" of high drug prices.

  • Ethan Davis, an attorney representing HHS, said the advertising rule, which would only apply to drugs that cost at least $35 a month and are covered by Medicaid and Medicare, would force drug companies to compete and encourage patients to shop for better deals, potentially driving down prices.

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