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Bill to eliminate pharmacy clawbacks clears committee

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A bill in the New Jersey Assembly that would potentially lower co-pays on generic prescription drugs has been approved by the state Assembly's Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

Assembly Bill 3993 would prohibit co-pay “clawbacks” to increase profits on generic medications. Clawbacks refer to the practice of pharmacy benefit managers setting co-pays higher than the cash price of commonly prescribed medications. The bill, which the committee forwarded Monday, was introduced by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R – 12th District.

The bill also abolishes gag clauses in many insurance contracts, thereby preventing pharmacies from informing customers their prescription would cost less if they paid cash. The bill specifies that pharmacies are permitted to disclose lower cost options to patients.

“The deck is stacked against prescription users who have no idea this is going on,” said Dancer. “The gag clause compels the pharmacists to be complicit in the scheme. That’s not acceptable. Nobody should pay more for required drugs because they are insured.”

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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