The Senate Health Committee unanimously approved a bipartisan bill on Wednesday that would outlaw “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from telling patients a drug would be cheaper if they paid out of pocket instead of using their insurance.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (S. 2554) in March along with Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).
The bill would bar insurers or pharmacy benefit managers from restricting a pharmacy’s ability to provide drug price information to a plan enrollee when there’s a difference between the cost of the drug under the plan and when purchased without insurance. The measure would apply to plans offered in the individual market, including through exchanges, and by private employers.