Drug Companies Want To Keep Consumers in the Dark

They celebrated a recent court ruling blocking the Trump administration’s attempt to have drug prices disclosed on TV adds, as well they should.

Ouch! That’s got to hurt. David Lazarus opined in the Los Angeles Times that “drug companies don’t give two figs about upholding free-speech rights and they don’t care about safeguarding patients from confusion. They care about sales.”

Lazarus is reacting to a ruling by a federal court judge this week who said that drug companies should not be forced to disclose their prices on TV. The pharmaceutical industry cheered, claiming that the ruling helps consumers because such disclosures would only confuse them because the list price may not be “anywhere close” to what consumers have to pay.

Lazarus mocked this reaction because the last thing drug companies want is people thinking about “how badly they’re being ripped off for name-brand medicine.”

Lazarus argues that Trump will need to work with Congress if he really wants to tackle drug prices, something the president is often loathe to do. Trump and Congress “need to empower Medicare to negotiate on behalf of its 57 million beneficiaries…. And they need to make the U.S. drug market more competitive by allowing consumers to import prescription meds from abroad. A good place to start would be adopting import rules for reasonably priced, well-regulated Canadian drugs.”