President Trump signed a piece of legislation this week ending the pharmacist gag clause from insurance companies, all in an effort to lower pharmaceutical drug prices for Americans.
Western Journal reports:
Currently, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers use the gag clauses to “forbid pharmacists from proactively telling consumers if their prescription would cost less if they paid for it out-of-pocket rather than using their insurance plan,” according to a press release from Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, the bill’s sponsor.
Trump also signed Democratic Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s Know the Lowest Price Act, which “prohibits Medicare drug plans from putting a gag clause on a pharmacy in their contracts,” according to CNN.
The Patients’ Right To Know Drug Prices Act is meant to cause “a slight decrease in federal revenues,” according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Politico. reports that another provision in the bill might offset this decrease.
The piece of legislation also goes after “pay-for-delay,” which is a tactic in which a name brand drug company “pays a generic manufacturer to withhold a product that would compete with the brand drug for market share.”
Federal Trade Commission. reports that by getting rid of this loophole, American taxpayers and those using the drugs could save money.
“Who would think that using your debit card to buy your [prescription] drugs could be less expensive than using your insurance card? It’s counterintuitive. Americans have the right to know which payment method provides the most savings when purchasing their prescription drugs,” Collins wrote in a tweet on Wednesday after the bill was signed by President Trump.
Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, and Democratic Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow wrote the bill.m
The President spoke of his support for the bill on September 17.
The President stated, “Americans deserve to know the lowest drug price at their pharmacy, but ‘gag clauses’ prevent your pharmacist from telling you!”