Gag Clause Bills Progress Through Congress

Sep 24, 2018
In recent weeks the Senate has passed two different bills focused on preventing pharmacy gag clauses. On Wednesday, September 5th the Senate unanimously passed S. 2553 – The Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018 which would prohibit gag clauses in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans. The bipartisan bill is led by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and cosponsored by 13 other Senators. The Senate then passed S. 2554 – The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act on Monday, September 17th by a vote of 98-2. This bipartisan bill, led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and cosponsored by 22 other Senators, would prohibit gag clauses in all exchange and private health insurance plans, including those in ACA markets. 

On the House side, the Energy and Commerce committee advanced H.R. 6733 – The Know the Cost Act of 2018 on Thursday, September 13th. The bipartisan bill, led by Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA), Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), combines the two Senate bills and would prohibit gag clauses in both Medicare and private health insurance plans. The House is expected to vote on the bill this week.

President Donald Trump has tweeted his support for the gag clause legislation, which could become the first drug pricing proposal he signs into law. Both the Senate and House versions of the legislation would go into effect beginning in 2020 if passed and signed into law. We will continue to keep you updated as these bills advance through Congress.