One notion proposed by the Trump administration to blunt the rising cost of medicines is to require drug makers to disclose list — or wholesale — prices in their TV advertising. The hope is that companies will be persuaded to compete on price if “relevant information” is provided. But the idea has been met with criticism, mostly because few consumers pay this amount unless, for instance, they lack insurance. Nonetheless, the proposal was sent last week to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is taking this idea one step further with updated ads for its Xarelto blood thinner that show not just the list price, but potential out-of-pocket costs. We spoke with Scott White, the J&J group chairman for the North American pharmaceuticals business, about the move. This is an edited version of our conversation.

Pharmalot: Why do you think this approach will work?

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  • He was as good at dodging hard questions (e.g., “Would you be open to changing the price based on feedback?”) as Kellyanne Conway.

    • At the risk of stating the obvious… that’s because the answer is clearly ‘no’, which isn’t something he was ever going to say. the reason companies do stuff like this is to calm the fury. they will not be lowering prices ever unless they are forced to. (Again, at the risk of stating the obvious.)

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