Senate votes to ban pharmacy gag clauses: 5 things to know

In an effort to increase drug price transparency, the Senate passed a bill that would ban Medicare insurers from writing gag clauses into their contracts with pharmacists, according to The Washington Examiner.

Here are five things to know:

1. Gag clauses have been blamed for complicating price transparency efforts at the pharmacy counter. These clauses, which insurers and pharmacy benefit managers often write into their contracts with pharmacies, prevent pharmacists from telling a consumer that it would be cheaper to buy a drug out of pocket than through their insurance.

2. The bill, dubbed the Know the Lowest Price Act, is intended to ban these clauses to help patients save money.

3. The new bill applies explicitly to Medicare Part D, which pays for prescription drugs and to Medicare Advantage, a health plan managed by private insurers.

4. The Know the Lowest Price Act was unanimously passed in the Senate.

5. Another bill, Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act, is making its way through the Senate. This bill would provide the same protections for patients with commercial, private health insurance.

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