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HHS Files Appeal in Drug Disclosure Fight

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) filed a notice of appeal on August 21st in response to the July ruling that blocked price disclosure in TV drug advertising. Handed down by Judge Amit Mehta of the US District Court, he ruled against the measure, stating: “HHS lacks the statutory authority under the Social Security Act to adopt the WAC [wholesale acquisition cost] Disclosure Rule.” At the time of his decision, HHS seemed to hint that they were going to file an appeal, saying they would “work with the Department of Justice on next steps related to the litigation.”

In May of this year, HHS outlined their plan for the WAC Disclosure Rule. Amgen, Merck, and Eli Lilly, joined by the Association of National Advertisers, filed a lawsuit in mid-June to prevent it from going into effect. Judge Mehta sided with the plaintiffs in early July. The price disclosure rule for TV advertising would apply to drugs with a list price of $35 or higher for a 30-day supply.

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