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Government mandating of prices

Betraying its distrust of consumer litigation, CMS explained that the risk of meritless Lanham Act litigation was “acceptably low,” because such litigation “normally involve[s] sophisticated parties doing business in the same sector” as the defendant company.

CMS did consider specifying disclosure of some other price rather than the list price. Rather, CMS chose the list price to minimize the regulatory burden on pharmaceutical companies.

It rejected the alternatives, but not because their use in advertisements would be deceptive or misleading or would provide less useful or accurate information to consumers.

Pharmaceutical companies face little market pressure to voluntarily disclose their products’ list prices. And actual prices vary greatly, pharmacy benefit managers charge as many as ten different prices to third-party payors depending on the design of third-party payor’s benefit plan. CMS argued that pricing transparency would moderate drug and biologic price increases. As legal authority for its proposed action, CMS cited the Secretary of Health & Human Services’ broad power to issue regulations embodied in sections 11 of the Social Security Act, 42 U. CMS acknowledged that “[c]onsumers may be able to obtain some pricing information by going online to the websites of larger chain pharmacies.” But unfortunately consumers do not seek such information: (1) because physicians rather than patients control the writing of the prescription, and (2) “meaningful price shopping is .

§§403.1200 to 403.1203 (proposed), applies only to drugs and biologics covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

State Senate Bill 827, which may be temporarily dead, mandates that cities must build high-rise, high-density housing within one-quarter mile of a frequently-used bus route or one-half mile of a train station, such as a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station.

Another bill, Senate Bill 828 (SB 828), which has passed the State Senate but not the State Assembly, is requiring California cities to construct more homes for low-income residents.

I am not one for raising taxes or using taxes to achieve government goals.