Patient advocacy groups wrong on drug prices in DTC ads

KEY TAKEAWAY: Drug prices in TV ads don’t mean a damn thing and may scare patients away from needed prescription drugs to treat health problems. Until we address the lack of transparency around drug costs adding the list price to ads is like trying to nail jello to the wall.

 “We believe American patients deserve transparency.”

Senators Richard Durbin of Illinois, a Democrat, and Charles Grassley of Iowa, a Republican said “Direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertisements are everywhere, and they tell you just about everything imaginable about the drug, other than its price”. This statement is about as out-of-touch as you can get on drug pricing.

The move has been pushed by patient advocacy groups, which have complained that televised drug ads — amounting to about $4 billion of the $5 billion spent by the industry on product promotion — steer patients to high-priced medications or drugs they do not need. Oh, by the way let’s not mention that patients don’t want to make lifestyle changes and want a pill to fix their poor health habbits.

The fact is that while list prices of drugs have been increasing the net prices have been decreasing because PBM’s and other middlemen are taking a bigger cut. This move by politicians up fpor re-election is nothing but a painting to communicate that they are doing something in the wake of anger ocer the cost of healthcare.

If politicians want to do something perhaps they should look into the rising profits of health insurance which is cutting into take home dollars of working families.

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