HealthDay News — The U.S. government does not have the legal authority to force drug companies to disclose prices in their TV ads, a federal appeals court says.

The unanimous decision Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit did not address the drug industry’s contention that forcing companies to disclose their prices in ads violates their free speech rights, the Associated Press reported.

The panel said the Department of Health and Human Services exceeded its legal authority by requiring drug price disclosure as part of its stewardship of Medicare and Medicaid.

HHS “acted unreasonably” in claiming it had authority to impose “a sweeping disclosure requirement that is largely untethered to the actual administration of the Medicare or Medicaid programs,” Judge Patricia Millett wrote for the court, the AP reported.


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