We Need a Labeling System for Pharmaceutical Prices

Document Type


Publication Date



"As we explained in the Annals of Internal Medicine earlier this year, prescription drug purchases rarely mirror reasonable expectations, partly because the information gaps are extraordinary. With many patients, there is just no way to know up front what will be covered by that patient’s insurance and what the cost will be. In most industries, consumers make informed choices that include cost considerations. With prescription drugs, the doctor doesn’t know the cost to the patient, and the patient may discover the out-of-pocket cost only upon checking out at the pharmacy.

We propose, however, a simple solution: a standardized pricing guide, akin to the nutritional information panel on most food products, that generates definite information about the costs for a given drug to a given patient with a given insurance plan."


This article was originally published in the Washington Post in June 2022.


The Washington Post