Prescription bottle with pills

Senate OKs bill banning ‘gag rules’ keeping pharmacists from telling you how to save money

The Senate earlier this month passed a bill outlawing such gag clauses for Medicare D, with this latest bill extending the ban to all insurance policies. Monday’s vote was 98-2, with both Ohio senators supporting it. Both the Medicare Part D bill and the Monday bill barring gag clauses from all insurance policies were cosponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

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A 2018 study by the University of Southern California found that customers overpaid for prescription drugs at the pharmacy 23 percent of the time.

An eight-month investigation by the Columbus Dispatch earlier this year found that pharmacy benefit managers — middlemen in the Medicaid supply chain between drug manufacturers and customers — are charging Ohioans three to six times the normal rate for drugs, costing taxpayers between $150 million and $186 million more than they need to spend on drugs.

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