– Seeking to increase transparency in prescription drug pricing, Rep. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) announced today that House Bill 943
, her bill to allow pharmacists to disclose cost-related information to patients, has unanimously passed the House of Representatives.
“This legislation will go a long way toward consumer protection in removing the gag order that currently burdens pharmacies,” Gaydos said. “The effect of this bill will be a more transparent and consumer-friendly prescription drug marketplace where patients benefit from the full disclosure of their pharmacists.”
Currently, when pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) contract with pharmacies, their contracts often contain what is referred to as a “gag clause,” which prevents pharmacists from telling customers they can save money on a drug if they pay with cash instead of using their health insurance. This language essentially prohibits pharmacists from disclosing any information to their customers that could save them money on their out-of-pocket costs for medications. For instance, for many less expensive, generic medicines, co-pays can often be more expensive than if the patient simply pays out-of-pocket and bypasses insurance.
Pharmacists and patients across the Commonwealth have long expressed frustration with this prohibition, which the bill seeks to end. Additionally, this legislation ensures pharmacists have the right to share relevant data with elected officials, because government deserves to know where and how public dollars are being spent.
House Bill 943 passed the House of Representatives today on a vote of 197-0. It now heads to the Senate for its consideration.
Representative Valerie Gaydos
44th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Michael Plummer