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Alexander: New Law Will Allow Pharmacists To Help Patients Pay Less for Prescriptions

Praises Senator Collins’ bill to ban “gag” clauses that prevent pharmacists from telling patients a drug may be cheaper if they pay with cash instead of insurance

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 10, 2018 – Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) praised a new law led by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) that will ban “gag” clauses that prevent pharmacists from helping patients pay less for their prescriptions.

 Alexander was at the White House today when President Trump signed the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act, sponsored by Senator Collins.

“If you walk into a pharmacy and ask for the prescription your doctor has written for an antibiotic, you might have a copay of $40 under your insurance plan, but if you pay with cash, it could only be $5,” Alexander said. “I hear often from Tennesseans that they struggle to afford their prescriptions. This new law, led by Senator Collins and passed by the Senate health committee I chair, takes a simple step to allow a pharmacist to tell a patient about the option to potentially pay less for prescription drugs so they can keep more of their money in their own pockets.”

The Senate health committee Alexander chairs passed the legislation by voice vote on July 25, 2018. On September 17, 2018, the Senate passed the legislation by a vote of 98-2.

In May, President Trump released a blueprint to reduce the costs Americans pay for prescription drugs, which called for an end to the so-called “gag” clauses that prevent pharmacies from telling patients if a drug is cheaper if a patient purchased it without using their insurance.