HB 240 Creates Guidelines to Audit Pharmacies and Ensure Lower Prescription Drug Prices
Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives unanimously approved consumer protection legislation related to pharmacies and prescription drugs in Alaska. House Bill 240 clarifies how pharmacies are audited by Pharmacy Benefits Managers.
“I introduced HB 240 to address rising pharmaceutical costs and unfair audit practices in Alaska. It is a common-sense bill that protects Alaska’s independent pharmacies and ensures that Alaskans don’t overpay for their prescriptions,” said Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks).
HB 240 requires Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to register with the Director of Insurance as third-party administrators and sets procedures they must follow when conducting audits. HB 240 also restricts PBM’s from inserting “gag clauses” into pharmacists’ contracts. “Gag clauses” prohibit pharmacists from telling consumers about available savings on prescriptions.
“We should encourage pharmacists to help patients save money whenever possible. We need to do what we can to help curb rising healthcare costs because even a single dollar saved helps. This bill puts Alaskans first,” said Rep. Guttenberg.
House Bill 240 passed the Alaska House of Representatives today on a unanimous vote of 40-0. The bill will be sent to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.
For more information, please contact Seth Whitten in Rep. Guttenberg’s office at (907) 465-4708.