Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser Permanente throw support behind proposal to require prices in TV drug ads

Healthcare providers generally backed a CMS proposal to require list prices of drugs in direct-to-consumer ads by pharmaceutical companies during a recent public comment period. Advertising and drug industry officials say CMS is outside of its authority and risks confusing consumers more with the idea. (Getty/FS-Stock)

Some major health systems and trade groups threw their weight behind a Trump administration proposal which would require pharmaceutical companies to include the list price of their drugs in TV ads targeted at consumers.

The public comments come after CMS announced a proposal earlier this year to require drug companies to include the 30-day list price of drugs in direct-to-consumer television ads for certain prescription drugs and biological products reimbursed through Medicare or Medicaid. 

Nearly 100 public comments were submitted by the deadline yesterday. Cleveland Clinic and Kaiser Permanente were among large healthcare players calling a list price in advertisements an "appropriate price metric" while calling for more stringent requirements than CMS proposed. Their suggestions included extending the rule beyond television ads to all direct-to-consumer advertising.

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RELATED: Trump administration to require drug companies to include prices in television ads

Kaiser, meanwhile, suggested that CMS require drugmakers to advertise list pricing for a 30-day supply but also define how pharmaceutical companies should interpret “typical course of treatment” to ensure consistency in advertised prices. The concern, KP officials said, is that companies may advertise the list price for the shortest treatment course possible, even if most patients will require a longer course.

RELATED: Trump administration’s push for prices in drug ads facing a likely legal fight 

AARP, too, threw its support behind the proposal while calling for the rule to extend to other forms of media. "We also agree that the price information needs to be displayed in an easily-readable, consumer-friendly format and strongly encourage CMS to define the minimum duration of time that the price information must be presented," they said.

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