Opin­ion: Pric­ing in­fo with new drug ap­provals: Time for trans­paren­cy

For years Con­gress has raised con­cerns with the way some drug­mak­ers pay to de­lay gener­ic ver­sions of their brand­ed block­busters, as well as oth­er patent and ever­green­ing tech­niques to add to their sales of old­er prod­ucts.

These games and oth­er ob­fus­ca­tion tac­tics have long ex­tend­ed to drug pric­ing too. Find­ing in­for­ma­tion on the price of a new drug, or even bet­ter, what some­one will ac­tu­al­ly have to pay out of pock­et for that new drug (which is usu­al­ly not the same as the WAC or list price that’s an­nounced), can be ex­ceed­ing­ly dif­fi­cult to find or un­der­stand. Some­times com­pa­nies will an­nounce the list price for a new drug, but oth­er times that an­nounce­ment will come lat­er, or be buried in an SEC fil­ing, or on­ly dis­cov­er­able pub­licly in a gov­ern­ment data­base years lat­er.

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