Trump rule requiring drug prices in TV ads blocked

U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta on Monday ruled the Trump administration overstepped its authority with a rule to force drug companies to include the price of their medicine in television advertisements.

U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta on Monday ruled the Trump administration overstepped its authority with a rule to force drug companies to include the price of their medicine in television advertisements. Merck, Eli Lilly, and Amgen sued the government last month to block the regulation, which would have required the companies to include drug list prices in the ads, which are a key part of pharmaceutical marketing. Judge Mehta sided with drug companies, saying the HHS rule would violate free speech and exceeded the agency's statutory authority. "But no matter how vexing the problem of spiraling drug costs may be, HHS cannot do more than what Congress has authorized," he wrote in his decision. "The responsibility rests with Congress to act in the first instance." The ruling is a blow to the government effort to force down drug prices and consumer health costs. "We are disappointed in the court’s decision and will be working with the Department of Justice on next steps related to the litigation," an HHS spokeswoman said. Drug manufacturers have opposed the price mandate, warning that providing only the list price would confuse and mislead consumers who might think they have to pay more than they actually would.