Change would further empower patients, agency argues
Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed today to require that prescription drug manufacturers post the Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) for drugs covered in Medicare or Medicaid in direct-to-consumer television advertisements.
The proposal is the latest addition to the agency’s ongoing efforts to empower patients and lower prescription drug prices,
“This historic proposal is an important way to create new incentives for drug companies to start lowering their list prices, rather than raising them,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “President Trump’s drug-pricing blueprint called for HHS to consider how to accomplish this goal, and now we are following through on this measure to better inform patients, help them lower their drug costs, and reduce unreasonable spending in Medicare and Medicaid.”
The proposed rule would work to inject greater transparency into the prices prescription drug manufacturers set and would give beneficiaries important information they need to make informed decisions based on cost, while concurrently providing a moderating force to counteract price increases.
“President Trump and Secretary Azar are working tirelessly to bring down prescription drug prices, and today CMS is continuing to execute on the President’s blueprint,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
Under the proposed rule, the price required to be posted would be for a typical course of treatment for an acute medication like an antibiotic, or a 30-day supply of medication for a chronic condition that is taken every month, and the posting would take the form of a legible textual statement at the end of the ad.