Senate Passes Drug Price Transparency Legislation in 98-2 Vote
Removing Barriers to Prevent Patients from Paying Higher Prices for Prescription Drugs
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) applauded Senate passage of the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act, a bill she cosponsored to increase transparency regarding prescription drug prices. The bill ends the practice of concealing prices from patients at the pharmacy by prohibiting the use of “gag clauses,” which have historically banned pharmacists from telling patients when it's cheaper to buy a prescription drug without using their insurance, and imposes significant penalties on pharmacists who fail to do so.
“Addressing the skyrocketing cost of healthcare in Alaska remains a priority of mine. One component of addressing those challenges is improving transparency across the board--- from the cost of medical procedures to the price of prescription drugs. I’m proud to support this legislation that does right by Alaskans, eliminating gag clauses to make sure consumers know if the out of pocket cost for their prescription is actually lower than their co-pay. These clauses have hindered a patient’s ability to be a proactive, knowledgeable consumer. Hiding information such as that should never have been allowed in the first place,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “So many of us agree the status quo with healthcare in this country is unacceptable. We must continue our efforts to reform our healthcare system – by reducing costs, increasing access, and providing quality healthcare that Americans deserve.”