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J&J to add prices to TV ads making drug prices transparent for consumers

it will include both the list price of a product - the price before any rebates or discounts to insurers or pharmacy benefit managers - as well as potential out-of-pocket costs that patients will pay

Reuters  |  CHICAGO 

johnson & johnson
johnson & johnson

Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday it will start adding the price of its medicines to television commercials by next month, becoming the first drugmaker to heed a call by US President Donald Trump for price transparency of drugs advertised directly to consumers on TV.

The healthcare conglomerate said it will include both the list price of a product - the price before any rebates or discounts to insurers or pharmacy benefit managers - as well as potential out-of-pocket costs that patients will pay.

The move, announced in a statement on J&J's website, won swift praise from US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Last May, Azar's office released a blueprint for reducing the cost of drug prices, which included a proposal to require disclosure of list prices in TV ads for drugs.

"We commend Johnson & Johnson for recognising the value of informing consumers about list prices and for doing so voluntarily. We call on other manufacturers to follow their lead," Azar said in a statement.

Trump made lowering the cost of prescription drugs for US consumers a central issue of the 2016 presidential campaign and emphasized it again in his State of the Union Address this week.

Ads for the blood thinner Xarelto, J&J's most widely prescribed medicine, will be the first television spot to include pricing information, the company said. The treatment used to prevent blood clots costs about $450 to $540 a month.

Congress has increased its scrutiny of U.S. drug pricing since Democrats took over control of the House of Representatives in January, while pressure is also coming from the Republican-led Senate.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the SenateFinance Committee, and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, ranking member of the committee, on Monday invited executives from seven pharmaceutical companies, including J&J, to testify at a Feb. 26 hearing on rising drug prices.

 

 

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 05:10 IST
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