Trump Administration believes drug cost transparency will lower costs

US Capitol Coverage

The Trump Administration says starting this week Medicare users will get more information about how much their medicine costs.

Officials say it’s part of a major push to create transparency within the drug industry.

For many Americans, going to the pharmacy is a frustrating guessing game but Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says it doesn’t have to be.

“You should know what you’ll pay out of pocket for your particular health plan.”

Secretary Azar says Medicare users will get some immediate help deciphering costs.

HHS this week will expand an online database which should allow seniors to follow the ups and downs of drug prices.

Leigh Purvis with AARP says consumers should not get too excited.

“This type of data really is relevant for researchers. For the average person looking for the price, this is probably too much for them to go through,” Purvis said.

The Trump Administration says it prefers that drug companies become more transparent without new government regulations.

Secretary Azar, a former drug industry executive, says he will force drug makers to take action if he must.

Azar says the FDA is considering new rules for drug ads on TV like listing prices in the commercials.

“You could be pitched a drug that costs $100 or a drug that costs $50,000 and you don’t know,” Secretary Azar said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says the administration needs to do more.

Secretary Azar says the president is committed to lowering costs and more transparency may eventually save Americans money.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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