HHS secretary unveils rule to disclose drug prices in TV ads

Alex Azar says it's a "great day for American patients" because prescription drugs' list prices will be included in advertisements.
4:57 | 05/08/19

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Transcript for HHS secretary unveils rule to disclose drug prices in TV ads
Shifting gears now to a major announcement today by. The trump administration and drug prices we know so many of you. I had been grappling with the skyrocketing prices over the past couple of years to Health and Human Services Department at announced today a new rule requiring drug companies. To put the list price of all prescription drugs in their TV ads that run. On network channels I caught up with the HHS secretary galaxies are short time ago to talk about the news. So today's a great taper American patience is what president troubles requiring today. Is that the drug companies will have to put in their TV ads the actual list price of their drugs. The goal is. That the drug companies finally start leveling with the American people about what their drugs will cost you right now. The drug company runs these ads in the whole goal of the ad is to get you go to your doctor to talk to the doctor about by and that drug. But they don't tell you what it'll cost it could be a fifty dollar for a 5000 dollar drug. But you're shelling out hundreds of bucks to go see a doctor not knowing now your gonna now. Did and you can specify in the rule mr. secretary how loaded the company's need to tell us the price of the drug and it is this going to be. What of those fast talking announcers at the end of the -- that very fine print that you need a magnifying glass to read what what is the will say about that. So what the world says as you have to actually provided in attacks were not requiring them to use the voice over but rather in taxed and it'll probably appear near the end of the ads were re used to having information patients look for information about affordability. Kobe cards that might be available so we'll be there. And we actually specify the Texas pass to be used a pass to be disclosure of the list price of a common course of therapy usually thirty days. And it makes it clear that if you have health insurance that pays for drugs you may hey last but we're giving you the list price of your drug seek to have an informed discussion with your doctor about affordability. Yeah and end to that drug companies mr. secretary saying that this is and it had to have quite a lot of confusion they point out that. Obviously rebates. And discount straight here achieved by a lot of the insurance companies will go to the consumer at the time of actually going to the drugstore. Isn't that true isn't isn't the price that they'll show on the screen eight in most cases likely to be much higher than people would actually pay. Absolutely not true that's the farm a talking point that their own list prices are relevant and don't matter that is not true. 47%. Of us have a high deductible health care plan were when were and are deductible we're paying the full freight of their list price and even after that we make pay cost sharing on expensive drugs that's based as a percent of that list price. Every senior in America has a health care plan that has at least a drug on it. That you pay cost sharing based on a percent of that list price. And they may have deductibles also based on list price so to say that list price doesn't matter is the say we don't have a drug pricing problem in this country. And president trump and I do not believe that. And so many people lie as we know have been just its sticker shock. Over the prices of their prescriptions Klein mean as we've seen so many studies just over the past. Few months you guys have made this a priority taken on. What's your advice for for patients and consumers though when they're trying to pick a drug should. Price BA a top priority when deciding which medication to take. Well I think individual patients will decide the role price what we do know is an affordability matters of great deal there's a ton of data that suggests that the patient has to stun. More than fifty to a hundred dollars for a prescription. They're less likely to pick it up at the pharmacy and take it and they're less likely to be here on that medicine and actually get the value that's why the president so committed to getting these lists prices down. And also reducing the out of pocket payments that patience will pay. That's why we proposed actually a rule that's currently pending. That would forbid these rebates that are going to middleman right now but don't go to the patients and require that those discounts instead go right to the patient. When they show at the pharmacy that's an average 30% discount a patient would get when they walk in the pharmacy. It and finally mr. secretary a number of states are joining U in this effort to do whatever it takes to drive down drew drug prices Florida as you know just a couple weeks ago became the second state after Vermont to enact a prescription drug importation law let people. In theory start to buy drugs cheaper drugs saying Canada is that part of the solution here do you support something like that. It could be part of it president trump and I have been very supportive of any efforts to import drugs from other countries. If those drugs can be brought in and away that would be safe to the American public preserve the safety of America's distribution system. And if it would lead to real out of pocket savings for our citizens. The president's committed to ending Ford free riding and that's why we've actually proposed and the Medicare program that Medicare beneficiaries and the program. Should get the benefit. Deals farm is giving to other countries but not giving us. Secretary is our thanks so much for joining us thank seven.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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