Tahir Amin: Drug Prices in Advertising

Tahir Amin, DipLP, co-founder and director of intellectual property of Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge, discusses whether including drugs' list prices in consumer advertising will help drive down prices for patients.


Would disclosing drugs' list prices in ads help drive down prices for patients?

To be honest, I don’t think disclosing list prices is really going to have the difference that we need to see in the current marketplace, in the current crisis that we’re facing regarding drug pricing.

I think it’s useful to have the list pricing there, but will that really change essentially where the abuse is really happening? We believe it has to lie in changing the patent system, in changing how we hand out 20-year monopoly periods to companies. Until you do that, you really aren’t going to see marked changes, and companies will find other ways to strategically cover up the list pricing in other ways.

I don’t think that’s a measure that really helps. I think that’s really a deflection, if anything, [rather than] going to the source of the problem.