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Grandstanding, not real change: Why drug prices in TV ads will be confusing and irrelevant

In TV drug ads, the numbers that will soon flash across screens are likely to be confusing and, in many cases, irrelevant.

In a fit of hubris, President Trump believes he is making drug makers “come clean” by forcing them to mention list prices in their TV ads.

If only it were that simple.

The reality is that last week’s mandate may, indeed, prod recalcitrant drug makers to pay more attention to pricing and, in some cases, cast this or that company in a greedy light. But for the most part, the numbers that will soon flash across screens are likely to be confusing and, in many cases, irrelevant.

Why do I say that?

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