The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) today welcomed the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s passage of the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (S. 2554).
In a letter endorsing the legislation, NACDS wrote, “NACDS believes gag clauses should not be allowed in contracts between health plans and pharmacies. Such clauses prevent pharmacists from informing patients when a medication can be purchased at a lower price without using insurance. The prohibition and/or removal of gag clauses in contracts between health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, and pharmacies will enhance patient access to medications, enable pharmacists to have improved relationships with patients, and keep healthcare costs for patients to a minimum.”
Upon the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s action on the legislation, NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, said, “In a national survey conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS, 83 percent of voters said pharmacists provide credible advice for saving money on prescription drugs. This legislation would remove a significant barrier that prevents pharmacists from providing even more critical information to patients. We will continue to advocate for this vital bill and we urge its continued progress and its ultimate enactment.”
“Eighty-three percent of voters said pharmacists provide credible advice for saving money on prescription drugs. This legislation would remove a significant barrier that prevents pharmacists from providing even more critical information to patients.”
The Senate bill was introduced by Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME) with the original co-sponsorship of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is chaired by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and the Ranking Member is Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).
Identical legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives (H.R. 6143) by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) .
In other drug-pricing news, NACDS last week submitted comments to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in response to a request-for-information related to the Trump Administration’s “Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.”
More information about drug-pricing issues is available in an NACDS issue brief.