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Trump signs bills banning pharmacy 'gag clauses'
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Oct 11, 2018 11:17:35   #
mambrose3 (a regular here)
President Trump has signed two bills into law to block insurers from enforcing “gag clauses” that forbid pharmacies from telling customers about how they can pay less for drugs.

The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and the Know the Lowest Price Act are intended to help patients find out whether a prescription would cost less if they were to pay for it out of pocket rather than through their health plans.

“Our great citizen deserve to know the lowest prices available at our pharmacies and now that is what they are getting,” Trump said at the White House.

Trump had called for the bills to be passed as part of his administration’s larger commitment to reduce prescription drug costs for patients, and the bills had moved easily out of Congress.

"If there's anything bipartisan, it's lowering drug prices," Trump said, adding that signing the bill representing him delivering on his healthcare promises.

The first measure applies to people who are covered by private health insurance and goes into effect immediately. The second measure applies to patients who are covered by Medicare, the government program for adults 65 and older and for people with disabilities, and goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The “gag clauses” had forbidden pharmacists from telling customers when they could save money by paying the lower cash price instead of the price that had been negotiated by a health insurance plan.

The system involving how drugs are paid for is complex, involving not just drug companies and health insurers but middlemen known as pharmacy benefits managers. These entities, as well as insurers, use “gag clauses” in their contracts to prohibit pharmacists from informing customers that they can save money if they don't go through their health plans. Pharmacists could be dropped from insurance networks or fined if they violated these contracts.

Under the new rules signed into law Wednesday, pharmacists aren’t obligated to tell a customer about the lower cost, but cannot be forced to keep quiet.

Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said at the White House that the bill gave patients the "right to know."

"You can ask your pharmacist, 'Can I pay less for this medicine than my insurance will make me pay?'" he said of the legislation.
He vowed more regulatory action on drug prices, saying that the latest move represented only the "tip of the iceberg."

Trump said before signing the bills that drug pricing was “way out of whack” and vowed prices would come down as a result of the efforts of his administration. He touted how his tweets led to drug companies holding off on price increases, and how the Food and Drug Administration had approved more generic drugs, which are less expensive than band alternatives.

“It’s way too high,” Trump said of drug prices. “I have been talking about it a long time, long before I ever decided to run for president.”
Oct 11, 2018 11:28:51   #
Thank you Mr. President!!!!
Oct 11, 2018 11:36:33   #
Wow, nice to know! I know a particular pharmacy that strictly adhered to that policy, but it must have made them a lot of money! I quit using them over 10 years ago!
Oct 11, 2018 11:40:56   #
Yes, but will they tell you when asked now? Seems they will loose money,so some may not.
Oct 11, 2018 12:09:14   #
katanamama (a regular here)
Thank you President Trump.

This is long past due. When the ACA was implemented one of my ordinary long used prescriptions increase in price from .72 cents to $30.00. That is an outrageous price increase and an irresponsible financial burden placed on ordinary taxpaying citizens, especially retirees.
Oct 11, 2018 14:14:56   #
Neeterbug (a regular here)
Thanks for the info!!!
Oct 11, 2018 17:54:45   #
Evie RM (a regular here)
Great info. Thanks for posting.
Oct 12, 2018 06:34:21   #
Thank you , Mr. President.

America, remember election day is coming up. Vote absentee or show up.
Oct 12, 2018 08:05:25   #
Thanks for this info. I never realized those 'gag orders' were in contracts. Just thought the pharmacists were in on the whole pricing scheme. And another thank you to Pres Trump.
Oct 12, 2018 08:13:28   #
Knitter from Nebraska (a regular here)
Promises made, promises kept.
Oct 12, 2018 09:45:11   #
Why does it take so long for this or any other bill that is signed to go into effect? This is certainly long over due.
Oct 12, 2018 12:07:47   #
Thank you President Trump - more of your promises kept!
Oct 12, 2018 12:22:37   #
Toddytoo wrote:
Thank you President Trump - more of your promises kept!

Amen! Finally someone who is actually getting things done and doesn't just talk about it. Thank you, Mr. President!
Oct 12, 2018 19:00:31   #
connieabbott wrote:
Amen! Finally someone who is actually getting things done and doesn't just talk about it. Thank you, Mr. President!

I second that!
Oct 12, 2018 22:27:02   #
hilltopper (a regular here)
Now that is good news. Thanks for sharing it.
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