Pharmacy "Gag Clause" Bills Signed into Law

October 16, 2018

President Trump recently signed a pair of bills into law aimed at increasing transparency with regard to drug prices in the United States. The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (S. 2554) and the Know the Lowest Price Act (S. 2553) prohibit so-called "gag clauses," which prevent pharmacists from telling customers if they could save money by buying prescription drugs out-of-pocket rather than using their health insurance. S. 2554 applies to private health plans, while S. 2553 targets Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans.

The bills are the first of their kind to become law since the Administration announced efforts to tackle the cost of prescription medicines in May 2018.

ASCO supports efforts to increase drug pricing transparency, and thanks Congress and the Administration for their action. In August 2018, ASCO released a position statement on Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) practices, in which the society asserts that pharmacies should not be prevented from informing patients of the most cost-effective option for purchasing needed medications.  

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