Jefferson City — Believe it or not, generic medicines can be less expensive than co-pays, making them cheaper to buy outright than with insurance – but your pharmacist may be banned from telling you that. The cost difference doesn’t go to the pharmacist, it doesn’t go to the drug manufacturer, it goes to the middleman: the drug benefit manager. That payback is called a clawback.
Clawbacks can range from $2 to $30 a prescription, boosting profits while unfairly charging consumers.
Patients shouldn’t have to pay more than a drug costs. Many states are moving to block the “gag clauses” that prohibit pharmacists from telling customers that they could save money by paying cash rather than using their health insurance. Missouri should be the next state to join that list.
HB 1542 sponsored by Representative Lynn Morris, prohibits clawbacks and eliminates gag clauses in Missouri. This bill will allow your pharmacist to tell you the least expensive way to pay for your drugs and will save Missourians money.
“With the costs of drugs skyrocketing in this country, consumers should be enabled to make informed decisions.” says Cara Spencer of the Consumers Council of Missouri. “Policies that prohibit a pharmacist from communicating pricing information to a patient should have no place in our state. HB 1542 deserves to be heard.”