House Passes Susan Collins' Bills To Lift 'Gag Clauses' On Pharmacists

Sep 25, 2018

The U.S. House has passed two bills that could help some consumers pay less for prescription drugs.

The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, was approved by the U.S. Senate last week.

The bills would lift gag clauses that currently block pharmacists from telling customers when they can save money on prescriptions by paying out of pocket versus through their health insurance.

The AARP is among several groups that support the legislation. The state director of AARP Maine, Lori Parham, says a recent member survey found drug costs are a top concern for older Mainers.

“We think this is an important policy that will give consumers more information as they’re making choices about prescription drug coverage and what’s available,” she says.

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a study on the issue. Researchers examined 9.5 million claims and found that overpayments were made on more than 20 percent of prescriptions.

The legislation now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law. President Donald Trump has expressed his support for the bills.