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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Representing the 12th District of Michigan

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President Signs Dingell Bill into Law to Bring Down Cost of Prescription Drugs

October 10, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Trump signed a bipartisan bill Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) led through committee and the House that bans the practice of prohibiting pharmacists from telling patients when less-expensive options to pay for prescription drugs may be available.

“The cost of prescription drugs keeps going up while hard-working men and women are feeling the squeeze,” said Dingell. “Too many customers are paying more than they should when less expensive options are available. Patients deserve to have all the information when picking up their prescriptions. I thank President Trump for approving our bipartisan bill to ban gag clauses that I helped lead in committee and through the House. This is a good first step to making our healthcare system fairer and more affordable.”

Currently, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are able to include requirements in contracts that prevent pharmacists from providing advice to their patients on the best and cheapest out-of-pocket alternatives to medications covered under insurance. This is commonly known as a "gag clause." As a result, patients may be paying more for their prescriptions than is warranted.

Today, President Trump signed the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act, and the Know the Lowest Price Act which are companions to The Know the Cost Act, sponsored by Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA) with Dingell as an original cosponsor.  The bill prohibits group health plans offered by employers and individual health insurance plans, as well as Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Plans, from restricting a pharmacy’s ability to inform a patient about the lower cost, out-of-pocket price options for their prescription. Additionally, the measure will require notifications to Medicare beneficiaries of the potential outcomes of paying out-of-pocket rather than with insurance. Dingell supported the bill as it went through the Energy and Commerce Committee in September.

 

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