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Commentary by Dr. Robert Levin: Gag clauses keep patients in the dark about overpriced prescriptions

Originally Published in The Post and Courier

In March, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, 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 the full price for an identical product produced by a different manufacturer.

The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act along with the Know the Lowest Price Act, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., passed the House through voice vote last Tuesday. President Trump signed it into law on Wednesday.

Gag clause legislation has picked up momentum in the 2018 legislative year at the federal and state level. More than 20 states have enacted similar legislation.

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Barbara Arnago