State Representatives Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) and Thomas West (D-Canton) today held a press conference to discuss newly introduced legislation that will expand access to affordable prescription drugs by increasing price transparency and ensuring a fair payment process for pharmacies and patients.
House Bill 479 seeks to reduce the administrative burden placed on pharmacists by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), which act as third-party intermediaries between pharmacies and insurers. By requiring that patients are informed of the most affordable payment option for their prescriptions, PBMs or other administrators will be limited in the amount they may charge a patient.
The legislation also prohibits PBMs from including a provision in their contract with a pharmacy that forbids pharmacists from informing patients of the cheapest method to purchase their prescriptions. For example, if a copayment is more than the price of a drug without insurance, the pharmacist must inform the patient.
“Our bill is about Ohio’s broken prescription medication system,” said Lipps. “Today, we started reforms for consumers to improve transparency, remove the ‘gag order’ in many PBM contracts, and lower prices for Ohioans on their medications. It is time for the consumer to be informed and protected.”
Among other reforms, House Bill 479 is a patient-focused bill that works to keep patients informed on the price of their medication, increasing transparency and ultimately reducing the cost of prescription drugs.
The bill now awaits an appropriate committee designation.
Click here to view the press conference in its entirety.