New Regulation Requires Pricing Info in TV Pharma Ads

Rule applies to drugs costing more than $35 per month.

Ads for brand name drugs covered by Medicare and Medicaid seen on TV (but not radio or in print) will soon have some additional information in them. A new regulation passed by the Trump administration requires the list price of any drug costing more than $35 per month to be disclosed in TV commercials.

Don’t expect the information to be obvious, though. It will likely appear in the small print that shows up on the screen at the end of an ad – usually when the potential side effects are being enumerated.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar believes the move will provide consumers with “more balanced information,” while giving drug companies an incentive to set more reasonable prices.

President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, on the other hand, believes the new rule will discourage patients from seeking medical care. He noted that patients surveyed by the industry association indicated they prefer to be provided with links to comprehensive cost information.


Cynthia A. Challener, Ph.D.

Dr. Challener is an established industry editor and technical writing expert in the areas of chemistry and pharmaceuticals. She writes for various corporations and associations, as well as marketing agencies and research organizations, including That’s Nice and Nice Insight.