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Johnson and Johnson will start listing drug prices in TV commercials

Key Points
  • The company would be the first drugmaker to take that step.
  • J&J's move comes amid growing scrutiny of soaring brand-name drug prices — and follows a Trump administration proposal to require list prices in TV ads.

Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it will start giving the list price of its prescription drugs in television ads.

The company would be the first drugmaker to take that step.

The health care giant will begin with its popular blood thinner, Xarelto, said Scott White, head of J&J's North American pharmaceutical marketing. By late March, commercials will give the pill's list price plus typical out-of-pocket costs. The information will appear on screen at the end of the commercial and include a website where people can enter insurance information to get more specific costs.

Without insurance, Xarelto costs $450 to $540 per month, depending on the pharmacy. About 1 million Xarelto prescriptions are filled in the U.S. each month.

J&J's move comes amid growing scrutiny of soaring brand-name drug prices — and follows a Trump administration proposal to require list prices in TV ads. The pharmaceutical industry opposes that, arguing few people pay the high list prices. Some people's out-of-pocket costs, though, are based on list prices.

The main drugmaker trade group instead recommends TV ads start listing a website that gives possible out-of-pocket costs and list prices. Last month, Eli Lilly started doing so, in ads for diabetes medicine Trulicity.

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Key Points
  • Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he's putting pharmacy chain Walgreens "on notice" for allegedly selling tobacco products to minors.
  • Walgreens is currently the top violator among pharmacies that sell tobacco products, the FDA said, with 22 percent of the stores the agency has inspected being found illegally selling tobacco products to minors.