Greg Walden applauds signing of two bills to lower drug prices, increase control for patients
Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and Know the Lowest Price Act signed into law after passing Congress with Walden’s support
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today applauded the signing into law of two bipartisan bills that aim to lower drug costs and give patients more control over their health care. With Walden’s support, the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and the Know the Lowest Price Act passed Congress in September and were signed into law by President Trump today.
These bills will ban the use of so-called “gag clauses,” which restrict a pharmacist’s ability to inform a patient that their drug would be cheaper if they paid out of pocket than if they paid through their insurance. While there is already a regulation on this practice in Medicare Part D, this legislation if signed into law will end the practice across Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans, Medicare Part D, and group and individual health insurance.
“American consumers should have the right to know how they can save money on their medicines. With enactment of these laws, no longer will insurance companies be able to prevent pharmacists from talking with their customers about payment options and savings.
“I learned about the costly problem of gag clauses from a pharmacist in Grants Pass, who told me that these rules were limiting her ability to tell patients how they could save on their prescription drug costs.
“With these bills becoming law, we are bringing much-needed transparency into the drug supply chain, improving the ability of pharmacists to communicate with their patients, and helping consumers afford the medication they need.
“I applaud President Trump for signing this commonsense legislation into law, and will continue to work alongside my colleagues in Congress and people on the ground in Oregon to increase affordability and patient choice in our health care system.”
On September 13, the House Energy and Commerce Committee — where Walden serves as Chairman — unanimously advanced a combined version of these two bills to the full House of Representatives for consideration. Both bills passed unanimously in the House of Representatives on September 25 after passing the Senate just a week before.