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Trump Administration Proposes Price Disclosures in TV Ads


  Drug companies may have to disclose in television ads how much a drug costs under a proposal the Trump administration released this week. The move is an effort to prompt more transparency in drug pricing. 

WFPL's Lisa Gillespie spoke with Sarah Ferguson, a mother who is concerned about her daughter's insulin costs. 

At first, Louisville resident Sarah Ferguson was hopeful about the proposal’s potential to bring down drug prices. Ferguson has a 22-year-old daughter who is on Ferguson’s insurance plan – but she worries about her daughter’s ability to afford her insulin after she hits 26 and can no longer be on her plan.

“At first I thought, oh, I think that's a good idea," Ferguson said. "They're going to run an ad for insulin and say this costs $300 a vial.”

But then she realized that there are rarely ads on TV for the older and more common insulin many diabetics rely on.

Ferguson said, “It was kind of a joke that they would run an ad for insulin and say it was 300 dollars because you there are no ads for insulin.” 

Ferguson also doubts the effect of price disclosures in ads would really empower patients to get cheaper drugs from their doctor, as America’s Health Insurance Plans President Matt Eyles suggested this week. He said giving consumers pricing information will empower patients to have more informed conversations with their doctors.

The proposal also doesn’t include a way for the government to enforce the drug pricing rule, and would rely on drug company’s lawsuits against each other for not following the rule.

Lisa Gillespie is WFPL's Health and Innovation Reporter. Most recently, she was a reporter for Kaiser Health News. During her career, Gillespie has covered all things health — from Medicaid and Medicare payment policy and rural hospital closures to science funding and the dietary supplement market.
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