The U.S. Senate recently passed two bipartisan bills related to prescription drugs. One, the “Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018” (S. 2553),” would amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act and allow pharmacies to inform individuals about lower-cost alternatives to their prescriptions under private health plans.
The Senate also passed the “Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act” (S. 2554) that aims to prohibit restrictions on pricing information given to patients about generic or competitive medicines under Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans. It also redefines the terms “generic drugs” and “biosimilar biological products.”
In all, Congressional leaders have expressed the hopes that the modifications made to the Social Security Act and the Public Health Service Act would allow consumers to make more informed decisions when purchasing their medications, and would promote healthier price competition.
The Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018 is currently on the House calendar and is expected to be heard in the coming weeks. President Trump has publicly expressed his support for the removal of so-called “gag rules” involving drug pricing, and is expected to sign the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act, as well as the Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018 once it is passed.