The Latest: US wants drugmakers to put prices in TV ads

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on drugmakers disclosing list prices of advertised drugs (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

The federal government wants to force drugmakers to disclose prices for prescription medicines in their TV commercials.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said a proposal unveiled Monday would apply to brand-name drugs that are covered by the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Hours earlier, the drug industry’s main trade group said drug companies were willing to disclose the prices on websites, but not in commercials. The drugmakers said they would provide a website in the ads that would include the list price and likely out-of-pocket costs.

But Azar said putting the prices on a website isn’t the same thing and patients deserve to know the cost.

While most patients don’t pay the full price, insurance plans base their copayments on the list price. Patients with high deductibles or no insurance sometimes pay the full price.

12:45 p.m.

Dozens of drugmakers will start disclosing the prices for U.S. prescription drugs advertised on TV.

The prices won’t actually be shown in the TV commercials but the advertisement will include a website where the list price will be posted.

The move announced Monday by the industry’s largest trade group comes hours before a speech by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on a new administration proposal to require prices in the ads. Azar responded that the industry’s announcement is a “small step in the right direction” but the government’s plan “will go further.”

Most Americans don’t pay the full price for prescriptions. In addition to the price, the drugmakers’ websites will show the likely out-of-pocket costs for people with insurance coverage. The ads should start airing next spring.