Extended Interview: Rep. Bahner talks Prescription Drugs
Representative Kristin Bahner (DFL Maple Grove) says one common concern she heard on the campaign trail was the high price of prescription drugs. One of her bills focuses on opening up the communication lines between pharmacists and patients, so patients can know the cost of their medication options. The bill removes the pharmacist “gag rule.”
“The gag rule itself strips away language from PBMs (pharmacy benefit managers) or providers that prevents a pharmacist from telling a patient when they can get their medication cheaper off the shelf or pay cash instead of a copay,” explains Bahner.
The idea behind the bill is giving consumers the best price for their medicine. So far, it has bipartisan support and several co-authors. There is a similar bill in the Senate.
“Every dollar counts when you are putting that money back in your pocket,” says Bahner. “If you buy something off the shelf for $5 versus a $20 copay, that adds up pretty quickly, especially for seniors.”