AHIP’s Position On “Gag Clauses” And Patients’ Right To Know

posted by AHIP

on March 21, 2018

There have been some questions recently about “gag clauses” in contracts that hinder pharmacists from advising patients of when a medication may be cheaper if they pay for it without insurance. We wanted to be clear on where health insurance providers stand on the issue.

Americans should be able to get their prescriptions at the lowest price available to them. Pharmacists should be able to inform their customers in the relatively uncommon instance that their medication would cost less if they pay out of pocket rather than use their insurance. We support the protection of that right in the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and The Know the Lowest Price Act.

But this doesn’t solve the problem of patients being unable to afford their medications because drug prices are simply too high. Drug prices are out of control because we do not have real competition in the market or an open and honest view into how they are set. We encourage lawmakers to support legislation that would increase competition among manufacturers and provide greater transparency into how drug manufacturers set their prices and what causes them to go up each year.