- Advocacy group Patients For Affordable Drugs said it has made a "six-figure" ad purchase to press for the Trump administration's plan to link Medicare reimbursement to overseas prices for certain drugs.
- The group will advertise on Fox & Friends, a show closely watched by administration officials, as well as YouTube, Twitter and other digital platforms.
- The push for the International Pricing Index comes one week after the administration dropped plans to impose a ban on rebates in Medicare, a proposal made in hopes of lowering out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.
The Trump administration has proposed several ideas to ease drug price inflation, but has had very few wins.
A federal court slapped down its proposal to require list prices to be disclosed in direct-to-consumer advertising which was opposed by the biopharma industry. The Department of Health and Human Services, meanwhile, shelved the pharma-supported rebate rule, likely because of the forecast impact on insurance premiums.
The International Pricing Index (IPI) proposal would tie the reimbursement for physician-administered drugs covered by Medicare Part B to the price paid in 16 different countries. The plan is structured as a pilot and would rely on private contractors to negotiate with drugmakers and supply physicians and hospitals, and then receive their reimbursement based on the payment.
The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing the proposal. President Donald Trump talked up the plan — or an idea like it — earlier this month, causing biopharma shares to tumble.
Patients For Affordable Drugs has been in support of this proposal, beginning a campaign in January that included TV and digital ad buys, patient fly-ins and opinion polling. The ad buy is a "relaunch" the group has undertaken in support of IPI "in light of recent setbacks" for the administration drug-price blueprint.
The campaign's main ad is the story of a cancer survivor who declared bankruptcy and lost her home because of drug expenditures.
"Big pharma is trying to stop President Trump from delivering on his promise to bring U.S. drug prices in line with what other nations pay," said David Mitchell, founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs. "We are redoubling our efforts to see that it is implemented."