Letter To Senators Durbin And Grassley On Direct-to-Consumer Advertising

posted by AHIP

on August 21, 2018

Dear Senators Durbin and Grassley:

On behalf of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), I am writing to express our support for your amendment addressing the disclosure of pricing information in direct-to-consumer advertisements for pharmaceutical products. We support your efforts to include this amendment in the final version of the Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2019 (H.R. 6157).

Our members are strongly committed to advancing solutions that provide relief to the American people from out-of-control prescription drug prices. Bold steps are needed, at both the legislative and regulatory levels, to ensure that people have access to affordable medications. With solutions that deliver real competition, create more consumer choice, and ensure open and honest drug prices, we can deliver more affordable pharmaceutical products while at the same time protecting and supporting innovations to deliver new treatments and cures for patients.

Your amendment—by taking an important step toward disclosure of pharmaceutical pricing information—recognizes that greater transparency is a crucial ingredient of the broad-based strategy that is needed to put downward pressure on prescription drug prices.

As Congress considers additional policy options on this issue, we urge you to recognize that the entire pricing process is driven entirely by the original list price of a branded drug—which is determined solely by the drug company, not by the market or any other participant in the pharmaceutical supply chain. Providing consumers with information on list prices is a crucial step toward greater transparency and accountability about the true costs to the system. Congress needs to address this reality—the problem is the price—while working to reduce pharmaceutical costs for the American people.

Thank you for your leadership on this important issue. We look forward to working with you to advance your amendment and other legislative options for addressing out-of-control prescription drug prices.

Matthew D. Eyles
President and CEO

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