Donald Trump signs bipartisan bills to boost drug-pricing transparency

Modesto Morganelli
Ottobre 11, 2018

US President Donald Trump has alleged that foreign countries extort lower prices from US drug-makers for their citizens, as he signed two pieces of legislation into law that aim to inform consumers about drug prices.

The measures bar health plans or middlemen that manage pharmacy benefits from getting in between pharmacists and their customers. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, sponsored the effort, saying Americans were overpaying for their drugs because their pharmacists could only divulge the cheaper option if the customer specifically asked about it.

At Wednesday's signing, the President called the gag clauses "unjust" and said the legislation would lower drug prices that are "way out of whack" and "way too high".

Under pharmacy "gag" rules, pharmacists have been prohibited from proactively telling consumers when their prescription would cost less if they paid for it out-of-pocket rather than using their insurance plan.

Both the President and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at the signing that they expect further regulatory action on reducing drug prices in the coming months. Pharmacists who disobeyed risked penalties that could impact their business.

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