On Wednesday The Western Journal posted an article with the following heading, “Trump Signs Law To Lower Drug Prices, Ends Gag Orders Against Pharmacists.”
The article reports:
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, the bill’s sponsor.
Trump also signed Democratic Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s Know the Lowest Price Act, which “prohibits Medicare drug plans from putting a gag clause on a pharmacy in their contracts,” according to CNN.
The Patients’ Right To Know Drug Prices Act would lead to “a slight decrease in federal revenues,” according to the Congressional Budget Office.
That decrease 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.
“Who would think that using your debit card to buy your [prescription] drugs could be less expensive than using your insurance card? It’s counterintuitive. Americans have the right to know which payment method provides the most savings when purchasing their prescription drugs,” Collins tweeted Wednesday after Trump signed the bill.
If consumers pay for drugs out of their pockets because it is cheaper rather than relying on the insurance companies to pay for these drugs, eventually the insurance companies will be able to charge less for their drug policies, saving consumers money.
I can give you a personal example of this. When living in another state, I was prescribed a maintenance drug that my husband’s medical insurance covered at the time. My co-pay was $50 a month. When I moved to North Carolina, my health insurance did not cover the drug. My out-of-pocket cost was $50. Hmmm.
We need across-the-board reform in the area of medical insurance. The first thing to do might be to get the government as far away from that area of the economy as possible. There are fairly simple ways to make sure that everyone has access to healthcare (everyone has access by law to emergency rooms regardless of their ability to pay). It is time to tell the government to find something else to do.