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CMS Mandates Pharma to Disclose Drug Prices

July 04, 2019

If you are watching television in the United States, you are more than likely to see at least one drug commercial. These direct-to-consumer ads, as the industry knows them, offer brief testimonials of a drug’s effectiveness and safety, but typically leave out the drug’s price. As a bold first step toward achieving price transparency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services introduced a rule in May 2019 that will require pharma to provide list prices of drugs featured in TV commercials. The policy, which is limited to drugs that cost more than $35 per month and are covered under Medicare and Medicaid, stems from the government’s initiative to detangle the complicated mosaic of drug pricing, and is aimed at making drug manufacturers more conscious of drug list prices. CMS intends to implement the rule on July 10, 2019.  With the industry moving further toward price transparency, it is becoming harder for drug manufacturers to bypass efforts like the latest CMS rule.