Trump Gets Behind Senate Bill That Would End Gag Orders Against Pharmacists Sharing Money-Saving Info

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

President Donald Trump got behind a bill ending pharmacist gag clauses the Senate is set to vote on Monday afternoon.

“Americans deserve to know the lowest drug price at their pharmacy, but ‘gag clauses’ prevent your pharmacist from telling you!” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon about the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act. “I support legislation that will remove gag clauses and urge the Senate to act.”

He accompanied the message with the hashtag “#AmericanPatientsFirst.”

Currently, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers use the gag clauses to “forbid pharmacists from proactively telling consumers if their prescription would cost less if they paid for it out-of-pocket rather than using their insurance plan,” according to a press release from Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, one of the bill’s authors.

The bill would lead to “a slight decrease in federal revenues,” according to the Congressional Budget Office, but that could be offset by another provision in the bill, reported Politico. Collins’s bill also targets “pay-for-delay,” a tactic where a brand drug company pays a generic manufacturer to withhold a product that would compete with the brand drug for market share. Closing this loophole could save consumers and taxpayers money, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The bill’s other authors are Republicans Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, as well as Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. (RELATED: StudySeniors Should Think Twice Before Reaching For The Aspirin Bottle)

The Senate has already approved a similar measure that applies to gag clauses as they apply to drugs needed by in Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage participants, reported the Washington Examiner.

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