HealthDay News — The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for more transparency in drug pricing amid rising costs that are putting some lifesaving medications out of reach for patients and communities.
During its annual meeting, the physicians’ group adopted new policies on drug pricing to protect patients. One policy calls on pharmaceutical companies to list the suggested retail prices of drugs in direct-to-consumer advertising. The AMA will urge federal regulators to include that requirement. The association pointed out that one study found a 34.2% increase in prices for prescription drugs advertised directly to consumers. For other medications, the increase was 5.1%.
Another policy is meant to tackle the sudden increase in the cost of naloxone. Community groups, schools, first responders, and local governments rely on naloxone to save lives, but are finding it increasingly expensive. The AMA plans to raise awareness about the recent actions of the 3 makers of naloxone. The companies sought the help of physicians, community groups, and elected officials to raise awareness and insurance coverage of naloxone and then suddenly and significantly boosted the cost of the drug after public policy changes increased access to naloxone, according to the association.
A third new policy calls on drug companies to give public notice before increasing the price of certain drugs by more than 10% during a 12-month period. This would provide information about the most serious cases of price gouging, particularly for older drugs, according to the AMA.
AMA adopts policy aimed to bolster transparency of prescription costs. AMA; June 15, 2017. https://www.ama-assn.org/ama-adopts-policy-aimed-bolster-transparency-prescription-costs. Accessed June 16, 2017.