Judge Strikes Down Rule on Drug Price Disclosures in TV Ads
- A federal judge in the District of Columbia issued a ruling striking down a Trump administration rule requiring drug companies to include prices in direct-to-consumer television advertisements of products for which Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement is available. The rule was set to go into effect on July 9.
- The drug companies behind the lawsuit argued that forcing disclosure of their list prices was beyond the reach of the federal government as well as a violation of the First Amendment. The judge determined the rule exceeded the regulatory authority that could be wielded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) but did not rule on the First Amendment argument.
- The ruling was a setback to the administration’s ongoing efforts to requiring greater transparency and patient knowledge of drug prices. “Although we are not surprised by the objections to transparency from certain special interests, putting drug prices in ads is a useful way to put patients in control and lower costs,” said HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley after the ruling was issued. It is still unclear whether the ruling will be appealed.
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James (Jim) A. Dietz is a Member at FBT who provides an array of legal services to hospitals, physicians, long-term care providers, diagnostic facilities, and others across the spectrum of patient care.