Senators Target 'Gag Clauses' That Hide Potential Savings on Prescriptions

Legislation that would prohibit "gag clauses" that can hide potential savings on prescription drugs from consumers at the pharmacy counter was introduced Thursday by a bipartisan group of senators. "Insurance is intended to save consumers money. Gag clauses in contracts that prohibit pharmacists from telling patients about the best prescription drug prices do the opposite," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). Collins introduced the bill along with Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). The measure, which would apply to plans offered through the individual market and by private employers, would ban insurers and PBMs from restricting a pharmacy's ability to tell customers the difference in price between a prescription purchased with insurance or out of pocket. A second measure unveiled by Sens. Barrasso and Cassidy with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) would provide the same protections covered under Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D.

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