Senators Pursue Bills to End Pharmaceutical “Gag Clauses” That Keep Prices High

(From The Washington Examiner)

A group of bipartisan senators wants to remove barriers that prevent pharmacists from telling customers about cheaper options for prescription drugs.

The senators introduced two bills aimed at prohibiting insurers and drug price negotiators called pharmacy benefit managers from putting “pharmacy gag clauses” in contracts. The clause prevents a pharmacy from telling a customer he can buy a drug cheaper out of pocket instead of going through his insurance plan.

“Multiple reports have exposed how this egregious practice has harmed consumers, such as one customer who used his insurance to pay $129 for a drug when he could have paid $18 out of pocket,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, one of the sponsors of the bill. “Americans have the right to know which payment method — insurance or cash — would provide the most savings when purchasing prescription drugs.”

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