NYS Senate approves bill to prevent consumers from overpaying for prescriptions

Posted at 6:22 AM, Mar 13, 2018

The New York State Senate has now green-lit a bill designed to prevent consumers from overpaying for their medications. It prohibits pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which are third-party companies that regulate selling and pricing of prescription medications, from two practices state lawmakers say unfairly earn PBMs money.

The first part of the bill requires PBMs like Express Scripts, CVS and UnitedHealth Group to disclose all pricing information for prescription drugs to buyers. That includes items like whether a person would be able to more cheaply buy a prescription out-of-pocket rather than through an insurer. 

And the second part prohibits PBMs from making contracts with pharmacies called clawbacks that allow them to accept co-payments that are higher than the actual cost of the drug. 

The bill has now passed both chambers of New York legislature, and now heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk for approval.