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BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More

Should ads for prescription medications include cost? Legislation pending in the U.S. Senate would require it

costs for pharmaceutical drugs in adsConsumers affected by rising prescription drug costs should watch for legislation currently before the U.S. Senate. Politico reports that Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have offered two amendments to the federal appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019 that would require drug companies to list the cost of their drugs in their advertisements.

In response to consumer outrage, politicians from both parties have proposed new legislation and/or regulations forcing Big Pharma to be more transparent about costs. The news blog Fierce Pharma reports that the idea is picking up steam in the nation’s capital.

Would it make a difference?

politicians from both parties have proposed new legislation and/or regulations forcing Big Pharma to be more transparent about costs.

Big Pharma says no. Politico reports that there’s little benefit because neither consumers nor insurers usually pay list price. The industry has also raised First Amendment concerns.

Meanwhile, Kaiser Health News has taken a look at what ads with prices might look like, based on typical monthly costs and average wholesale prices. Kaiser found ads promoting Humira —  used to treat Rheumatoid arthritis, chronic plaque psoriasis and Crohn’s disease —  would also inform consumers about a $5,846.44 monthly cost.

What do you think? Should commercials and advertisements for prescription medications be required to disclose cost? Share your thoughts and stories with Voices for Affordable Health.