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In win for pharma, Trump TV drug price rule struck down

July 09, 2019 / Jonathan Gardner

The proposal seeks to shame biopharma companies into lowering their prices through public pressure. HHS published the rule in May, arguing that price disclosure would allow Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to make informed decisions about their own out-of-pocket costs. It was due to go into effect today. Merck & Co., Eli Lilly and Amgen, along with the National Association of Advertisers, sued HHS, claiming violations of First Amendment free speech rights, along with challenging HHS authority to regulate price transparency in advertising. But the court ruled that Congress had given HHS no explicit authority to force drugmakers to disclose the prices of drugs in direct-to-consumer advertisements. The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, HHS and the Food and Drug Administration can regulate the content of drug advertising to ensure that biopharma companies do not make false claims about their safety or efficacy. Pricing, however, is a matter for finance and public insurance programs, whic...