President Signs ‘Gag Clause’ Bills into Law

Today, President Trump signed two bills into law that will allow pharmacists to disclose the lowest cost of prescriptions to their patients. Previously, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have enforced so-called “gag clauses” that prohibited pharmacists from informing their patients if they could purchase their prescriptions for a lower cost out-of-pocket vs. through insurance. The Patient…

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Bills Banning Pharmacy ‘Gag Clauses’ Head to President’s Desk

Yesterday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed two bills that would prohibit “gag clauses” by health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Gag clauses prohibit pharmacists from preemptively informing customers if their prescription would cost less if they paid out of pocket versus paying through insurance. The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and the Know…

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Senate passes bill banning pharmacy ‘gag clauses’ for Medicare Part D

Last Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed a bill designed to stop the restrictions and PBM threats tied to “gag clauses” in Medicare Part D plans. The bill, also known as the Know the Lowest Price Act, would allow pharmacists to inform their Medicare Part D patients if the cash price for a prescription is lower than…

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HHS Secretary Azar Expresses Concern about DIR Fees

Earlier this week, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke to the House Committee on Education and Workforce about the policies and priorities of his agency. He touched on several topics including the opioid epidemic, mental health, and prescription drug prices. Azar also spoke about gag clauses and DIR fees during…

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President Announces Plan to Cut Drug Prices

On Friday, May 11, President Trump spelled out his plan to bring lower prescription prices to consumers. In doing so, his rhetoric included pointed remarks – “Everyone involved in the broken system – the drug makers, insurance companies, distributors, pharmacy benefit managers and many others – contribute to this problem.” The plan is called a…

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CMS Issues Final Rule on 2019 Part D Plans

On Monday, April 2, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its final rule and call letter for 2019 Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans. While KPSC, IPC, and our partners in Washington review this 1,000 page rule from CMS, we wanted to provide you with NCPA’s update on some of the…

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NCPA Fighting Back on Mergers

The last few weeks have seen some major shakeups in the pharmacy industry. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law in Washington, D.C. met to discuss the proposed $69 billion CVS Health-Aetna merger. NCPA provided a statement to the subcommittee on behalf of independent pharmacies across the…

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Latest on the Opioid Epidemic

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an estimated 2 million Americans are currently addicted to opioids and for Americans under the age of 50, drug overdose is the #1 cause of death. As a result, the NIH has begun partnering with pharmaceutical companies to conduct scientific research on how to develop non-addictive painkillers…

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NCPA Continuing Fight to Move DIRs to Point of Sale

National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is continuing to urge CMS to adopt the proposed changes to DIR fees. NCPA led an effort along with pharmacy stakeholders and Senators in Washington to generate support for a letter expressing bipartisan support to CMS for its approach to pharmacy DIR fees. The letter was organized by U.S. Senators…

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