A federal judge on Monday blocked the Trump administration from implementing a new rule that would force pharmaceutical companies to include the wholesale prices of their drugs in television advertising.
US District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C., sided with drugmakers Merck & Co, Eli Lilly and Co and Amgen by halting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rule from taking effect on Tuesday as planned.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced the rule on May 8, saying that forcing drugmakers to disclose their prices in direct-to-consumer TV advertising could help drive down skyrocketing prescription drug costs if the companies were embarrassed by them or afraid they would scare away customers.
The rule was originally suggested last May as part of US President Donald Trump’s “blueprint” to lower prescription drug costs for US consumers.
Many drugmakers have opposed the rule. The largest industry lobbying group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), said that the list prices could be confusing for patients and discourage them from seeking medical care.