A commercial featuring the list price of Johnson & Johnson blood thinner Xarelto, the first U.S. direct-to-consumer TV drug ad to disclose price, debuts today, the drugmaker told MM&M.
The spot features the list price ($448 per month) at the very end of the ad, along with a range of typical out-of-pocket costs for patients, from $0 to $47 per month. The end card also directs viewers to Xarelto’s website, where they can access more specific pricing information.
The website shows typical costs for patients on private or employer insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and for those who are uninsured or whose insurance doesn’t cover the drug.
The drugmaker announced it was planning to include the list price in ads back in February, following a Trump administration proposal in October to require drugmakers to include list prices in their television ads. J&J’s move differed from the position espoused at the time by many of its pharma rivals and their industry trade group.
The industry group, PhRMA, maintained that including the full list price would confuse patients and potentially prevent them from seeking treatment because few patients actually pay that price for a drug. Moreover, compelling such disclosure in ads is a potential First Amendment violation, the trade group argued.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had countered that price transparency will allow patients to make informed decisions based on cost and may prompt companies to lower prices. The proposed rule, which has yet to take effect, was part of a larger plan by the administration intended to rein in prices.
In January the maker of diabetes drug Trulicity, Eli Lilly, said its commercials for the drug would begin to direct patients to a website for pricing information, a move in line with the PhRMA guidelines. More than two dozen pharma companies agreed to those new advertising guidelines, which are set to go into effect next month.
In an online video, J&J offered context for its decision to supply the price information. The video features a Xarelto patient who says that the information will make it easier for her and other patients “to understand what a medicine may cost before we get to the pharmacy counter.”
Price disclosures are planned for other drugs J&J promotes on TV by later this year, the drugmaker added.