A bill is awaiting the Governor's signature that could save residents money the next time they go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription.
Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 445, called "An Act Concerning Fairness and Pharmacy Benefit Manager Contracts".
Pharmacy benefit managers, known as PBM's, are the companies that administer the prescription drug benefit component of health insurance plans. They also set the co-pay for a particular drug.
PBM's have contracts with pharmacies across the country, and many of those contracts bar pharmacies from telling their customers whether it's cheaper for them to pay for a drug through their insurance or out of pocket.
The bill, co-sponsored by the two Senate presidents, Democrat Martin Looney, and Republican Len Fasano, seeks to eliminate the gag order on pharmacists to allow them to share all relevant information with their patients.
The Senate approved the bill unanimously last month and yesterday the House approved it with a small amendment. That required another vote of the Senate yesterday, which was unanimous once again. If the governor signs the bill into law, the restriction on the gag order will take effect Jan. 1, 2018.