CMS Issues Final Rule Requiring Pharmaceutical TV Ads to Include Pricing

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule to require direct-to-consumer (DTC) television advertisements for prescription drugs and biological products for which reimbursement is available, directly or indirectly, through or under Medicare or Medicaid to include the list price of that product. The list price is being defined as prescription drugs or biological products that have a list price of more than $35 per month for a 30-day supply or typical course of treatment. The list price is the Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC or list price) of that drug or biological product. The US Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation estimates that prescription drug spending in the United States was about $457 billion in 2015, or 16.7 percent of overall personal health care services. Of that $457 billion, $328 billion (71.9 percent) was for retail drugs and $128 billion (28.1 percent) was for non-retail drugs. CMS says that in 2017, more than $5.5 billion was spent on prescription drug advertising, including nearly $4.2 billion on television advertising. For more details, see today’sFinancial Feature.

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