In his Sept. 25 article, “Collins’ bills to ban pharmacy ‘gag clauses’ pass House and Senate,” Staff Writer Joe Lawlor reported that the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act – sponsored by Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins – had been approved by both houses of Congress, along with the Know the Lowest Price Act. On Oct. 10, President Trump signed these bills into law.
In March, Sen. Collins introduced the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act. Backed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, the bill bans the “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacies from informing consumers whether they could spend less on their medication by paying out-of-pocket versus with insurance. While Democrats and Republicans remain deeply divided on Obamacare and many health care-related issues, this area of bipartisan agreement has emerged amid political turmoil.
As a member of the Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions, a coalition of patient and provider organizations that address the impact of pharmacy benefit managers on prescription drug costs and patient access to treatment, we proudly support Sen. Collins. She recognizes the alliance as an organization that stands with her sponsorship of the bill, and we encourage her to keep working toward our common goal of lowering the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs in the United States.
Although this legislation is only a small step toward our goal of ultimately lowering pharmaceutical drug prices across the board, the support coming from both parties is something that we, as an organization dedicated to lowering these prices, are celebrating. The Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions stands with Sen. Collins in her battle against pharmacy benefit managers to provide more transparency to consumers. It’s time Americans stopped overpaying for prescription drugs.
Robert W. Levin, M.D.
president, Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions