Proposal Requiring Manufacturers To Include Retail Prices In Drug Ads Approved By AMA
The group hopes the measure will push federal regulatory agencies to enact such pricing disclosures, but critics say it's unlikely under a Republican administration. In other news, the pharmaceutical industry eyes genetic analysis as a method for improving drug treatments.
AMA Votes To Require Drug Makers To Disclose Prices In Ads
Seeking to restrain drug prices, the American Medical Association passed a resolution that would require drug makers to disclose pricing in ads that are aimed at consumers. The proposal, which was approved by AMA delegates at their annual meeting in Chicago, came in response to concerns over rising drug costs and an unsuccessful bid by the medical organization to convince Congress to ban so-called direct-to-consumer advertising altogether. (Silverman, 6/14)
Should Every Patient Have Genetic Analysis To Map Their Drug Responses?
Dr. Richard Weinshilboum is asking a big question: What if your doctor knew which drugs to treat you with before you got sick? The growing field of pharmacogenomics has made that possible. Patients’ genetic variants can be analyzed to determine their response to medicines used to treat everything from mental illness to cardiovascular disease. Typically, that information is used to help treat patients with existing health problems. But Weinshilboum and his colleagues at Mayo Clinic and Baylor University have launched one of the largest studies ever to examine the effect of testing patients before they become ill, so doctors can act quickly when problems arise. (Ross, 6/14)
Meanwhile, licensing of a potential Zika vaccine is disputed —
Lawmakers Ask U.S. Army To Hold A Hearing On Zika Vaccine Licensing
Agroup of Florida lawmakers is urging the U.S. Army to hold a hearing on its plan to give Sanofi an exclusive license to develop a Zika virus vaccine, a move that has raised concerns the product may be priced too high for many Americans, even though it was developed with taxpayer funds. In a June 13 letter, eight U.S. House Democrats and one Republican expressed concern about the “potential for monopolistic practices that would, effectively, keep this life-saving vaccine out of reach for far too many of our constituents.” At the same time, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who is also a Democrat, sent his own letter in which he urged the Army to limit the price for the vaccine. (Silverman, 6/14)
Florida Congressional Members Want Hearings On Zika Vaccine
A bipartisan group of members of Congress from Florida has asked the acting secretary of the U.S. Army to hold public hearings before awarding exclusive rights to a French pharmaceutical manufacturer to develop a Zika vaccine using technology invented by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and funded by American taxpayers. The lawmakers expressed concern about the affordability of a Zika vaccine once one becomes available because the pharmaceutical manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, rejected a request from the U.S. Army to set an affordable price for the drug. (Chang, 6/14)