'Gag rule' ban will lead to savings on costs of prescriptions

The Columbus Dispatch

Every day, pharmacist Aaron Clark of Equitas Pharmacy in the Short North must bite his tongue and disregard what’s best for his customers.

That’s because so-called gag rules imposed by pharmacy middlemen prohibit him from telling customers how they could save money on many prescriptions by paying out of pocket instead of using their insurance.

“Sometimes it will be a couple of dollars savings, but sometimes it will be a $60 or $70 savings,” Clark said.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, signed into law last week by President Donald Trump, immediately outlaws such gag clauses, allowing consumers untold savings. The legislation would expand on a similar Ohio bill that so far has passed only the House.

The non-disclosure rules were imposed on pharmacies by many pharmacy benefit managers, companies hired by insurers to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers and reimbursements paid to pharmacies for filling prescriptions.

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'Gag rule' ban will lead to savings on costs of prescriptions »