A bill from Rep. Chris Gildon that will limit the maximum amount a person will pay for prescription medication at the point of sale will soon be Washington state law.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2464 today, in Olympia. This new law will protect patients from excess costs of prescription medications by requiring pharmacists to charge the lesser of the patient’s insurance co-pay or the cash price.
Due to the ongoing restrictions and safety measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Gildon did not attend the bill signing. However, he was pleased to see his bill become law.
“I’m very grateful to all the parties involved to make this a law,” said Gildon, R-Puyallup. “There are so many people in my district, and throughout the state, that struggle to stay afloat. One of the biggest strains they face is the cost of prescription medications.”
Currently, pharmacists don’t have to tell patients if the cash price is lower. This too often leads to people paying higher prices for their medications than necessary.
In some instances, the difference between the cash price and the co-pay price is significant, and it happens far too much. About one fourth of all patients end up paying more than the actual cost of the drug.
“I know this new law is just a small step in reducing the high cost of prescription drugs,” said Gildon. “However, every little bit counts, especially in these uncertain times. I’m confident this law will have a positive impact on people who struggle to pay for their medications.”
The law is expected to take effect June 10, 2020.