McMorris Rodgers Bill to Ban Gag Clauses for Pharmacists Passes Committee

Sep 17, 2018
Health Care

SPOKANE, WA (September 17, 2018) – Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Know the Cost Act of 2018, legislation that Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) joined in introducing earlier this month to ban gag clauses that prohibit pharmacists from informing patients when the cash price for their prescription costs less than their insurance cost-sharing arrangement.

“As prescription drugs costs continue to skyrocket, I am leading on solutions to bring transparency to drug pricing,” said McMorris Rodgers. “Patients should have access to this information so they can make informed decisions and help save money. This legislation takes an important step by banning rules that hide valuable information and decrease patient choice.”

Many groups have voiced their support of this legislation. The American Medical Association said, “Transparency in the pharmaceutical supply chain is essential to identifying what is driving high prices while also providing critical insights on how to combat practices and policies that are contrary to the interests of patients.”

NOTE: Rep. McMorris Rodgers has also led in other areas to help bring down the cost of prescription drugs. Rep. McMorris Rodgers is also an original cosponsor of H.R. 1316, the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act, a bill to require greater transparency from Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs).

PBMs are the middlemen that employers and federal programs use to set prescription drug prices for consumers on their health plans. PBMs often fail to explain the process for setting these prices, and while they claim to deliver cost savings by passing along rebates to federal programs, the lack of transparency surrounding PBMs makes it impossible to track these alleged savings. H.R. 1316 would protect taxpayers and health care consumers by requiring greater transparency from PBMs.

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