This Is Getting A Little Silly!!!

What is getting a little silly? See the above graphic. It is HHS Secretary Azar announcing his agency’s Primary Cares Initiative, which has been described as a giant step toward “value-based” medicine. Oh goody. Different topic, different post.  

Today’s topic, also related to HHS, is even goofier. Check this out. What you will see is the announcement that the HHS is finalizing a rule that will require pharmaceutical manufacturers to include the “list price” of the drug in any DTC advertisement. Well, not any DTC advertisement. Just those for which the list price is over $35 per month for an “average” course of therapy.

Good grief. What is the average viewer supposed to do with that information? Decide not to take the drug his physician has prescribed? Decide not to investigate the drug or discuss it with her doctor?  

And should we just ignore the fact that most consumers, e.g., old guys on Medicare like me, don’t pay anything that even vaguely resembles list price?

Bottom Line. It strikes me that at some point, manufacturers are just going to give up on DTC. They already have to include silly warnings like “Don’t take the drug if you are allergic to it.” Duh! And say things like “Contact your doctor immediately if you experience “symptoms of ketoacidosis.” Which are what again?

And now they have to list a price point which for most patients will be irrelevant at best, or dangerously misleading at its worst.

I get it. HHS is trying to get us to stop running DTC advertisements. Why don’t they just say that and be done with it? They can make it happen. Probably a good idea. For everybody!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *