General Assembly passes Sen. Felag and Rep. Felix’s legislation which allows pharmacists to inform customers about lower-cost prescriptions
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly tonight passed Sen. Walter S. Felag and Rep. Leonela Felix’s legislation which would prohibit gag clauses sometimes found in pharmacy contracts that prevent a pharmacist from talking to a customer about more affordable options.
The legislation is a part of the Senate’s prescription drug affordability package.
“This bill is a patient and consumer protection bill that will allow our residents to save crucial dollars on their prescription medications. It is simply unfair that our state’s pharmacists are sometimes not allowed to discuss cheaper available prescription and treatment options with their customers. Thankfully, this bill will remove this onerous gag order on our pharmacists, letting them serve their customers as they should while also saving consumers much-needed dollars,” said Senator Felag (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton).
“Pharmacists should be helping their customers get healthy at the lowest cost possible, not protecting profits of drug and insurance companies. This bill will give consumers the information they need to make the best cost-effective decisions concerning their prescription drugs,” said Representative Felix (D-Dist. 61, Pawtucket).
The legislation (2021-S 0497A / 2021-H 6477A) states that a plan sponsor, health insurance carrier, or pharmacy benefit manager shall not prohibit a pharmacist from providing a customer information regarding the amount of the insured customer’s cost share for a prescription drug. Neither a pharmacy nor a pharmacist can be penalized by a pharmacy benefits manager for discussing any information described in this section or for selling a lower-priced drug to the insured customer if one is available.
The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.
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