House Joins Senate in Passing Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act

The United States House of Representatives has passed the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act. The bill will now be sent to the President for his consideration, as the Senate already passed the bill earlier last month with an overwhelming majority of 92 to 2. 
 
Samantha DiGrande
October 06, 2018
The United States House of Representatives has passed the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act. The bill will now be sent to the President for his consideration, as the Senate already passed the bill earlier last month with an overwhelming majority of 92 to 2. 

The bill, introduced in March 2018 by Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, and Debbie Stabenow D-Michigan, eliminates pharmacy “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from informing customers when they could get their medication cheaper by paying out-of-pocket.

Click here to read more about pharmacy gag clauses.

In addition, the bill also addresses pay-for-delay agreements by requiring patent litigation settlements between a reference product developer and a biosimilar manufacturer to be submitted for review by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the US Department of Justice.

Other legislation to address such pay-for-delay deals are also moving forward in Congress, as key components of the Biosimilars Competition Act of 2018, put forth by Congressman John Sarbanes, D-Maryland, were also passed last month by the House. 

In an unofficial estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Biosimilars Competition Act of 2018 is anticipated to save about $100 million from 2019 to 2028. “These savings will help pay for [2] additional bills (S. 2554, the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act, and S. 2553, a bill to prohibit pharmacy gag clauses) that will provide consumers with more information and access to lower-cost generic drugs,” according to the Sarbanes.

The President, for his part, is expected to sign the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act into law, as he has shown public support for such legislation. In September, President Trump tweeted his support for legislation to remove gag clauses, and urged the Senate to act on the legislation, saying that Americans deserve to know the lowest drug price at the pharmacy.

 

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