Trump to Sign Bills Lifting Drug Price 'Gag Orders' on Pharmacists
Bills will let U.S. pharmacists disclose cash versus insurance costs for medications
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Two bills that allow U.S. pharmacists to disclose drug prices to customers to help them save money are expected to be signed today by President Donald Trump.
Previously, pharmacists could not tell consumers if the cash price for a prescription was less than what they would pay using their insurance plan, NBC News reported. That was due to "gag order" clauses in contracts between pharmacies and insurance companies or pharmacy benefit managers.
The two bills were passed by Congress last month. One bill is for Medicare and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries, and the other is for commercial-based and individual policies, NBC News reported.
Consumers with Medicare Part D drug insurance overpaid for prescriptions by $135 million in 2013, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association earlier this year. For nearly one quarter of drugs bought that year, copayments in those plans were higher than the cash price. The study also found that for 12 of the 20 most commonly prescribed drugs, patients overpaid by more than 33 percent, NBC News reported.