Trump signs new laws aimed at drug costs

President Trump signed into law legislation on Wednesday that frees pharmacists to tell consumers when they can actually save money by paying the full cash price for prescription drugs rather than using health insurance with large co-payments, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs.

President Trump signed into law legislation on Wednesday that frees pharmacists to tell consumers when they can actually save money by paying the full cash price for prescription drugs rather than using health insurance with large co-payments, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs. Pharmacists around the country say they have often been forbidden to share information on drug pricing with customers. The new law will "completely end these unjust gag clauses once and for all," Trump said. He signed two bills. One bill, introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), bans gag clauses in commercial health insurance, including coverage offered by employers and plans bought by individuals and families on their own. The other bill, introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), applies to outpatient drug coverage in Medicare, whether provided by the traditional fee-for-service program or by private Medicare Advantage plans. "Insurance is intended to save consumers money," Collins said. "Gag clauses do the opposite. They prevent pharmacists from telling patients how to pay the lowest possible price for their prescription drugs." Steven F. Moore, whose family owns Condo Pharmacy in Plattsburgh, NY, said the new federal laws would be "a big help." The restrictions on pharmacists' ability to discuss prices with patients are "incredibly frustrating," he said.