Bills aim to lower prescription drug prices

Pharmacists are calling on state legislators to hold pharmacy benefit managers accountable and lower drug prices.

Members of the Wisconsin Pharmacy Patient Protection Coalition introduced two bills that would establish price transparency requirements and end the practice of forcing pharmacists to agree to gag clauses.

Those provisions prohibit pharmacists from telling customers when they can save money by paying the pharmacy’s lower cash price instead of the price negotiated by their insurance plan.

The coalition says middlemen have been manipulating the system instead of saving patients’ money as they were originally intended to do.

“For years, pharmacists have been forced to agree to unfair, contractual gag clauses — that keep them from sharing prescription cost details with patients, and ultimately leave patients in the dark,” said Danielle Womack, vice president of Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin.

The coalition presented a 20-foot-long petition containing 11,000 signatures to state legislators today.

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