A bill from Rep. Chris Gildon that would limit the maximum amount a person would pay for prescription medication at the point of sale was unanimously approved by the House today.
“I’ve spoken with so many people who are struggling to make ends meet, and a big driver of that struggle is the cost of prescription medications,” said Gildon, R-Puyallup. “This bill would provide some relief.”
House Bill 2464 seeks to 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. Currently, pharmacists do not have to tell patients if the cash price is lower. This too often leads to people paying higher prices for their medications than necessary.
“Many times, the cash price is actually less than the insurance co-pay,” noted Gildon. “Big pharma really doesn’t want you to know this, but I believe it’s important for you to get the best deal possible, which is why I sponsored this bill.”
In some instances, the difference between the cash price and the co-pay price is minimal. However, in many cases, it’s significant, and it happens far too much. About 25 percent of patients pay more than the actual cost of the drug. While this bill will not solve everything, it could have a positive impact on those struggling to pay for their medications.
“Lower prescription medication prices can make a big difference for low-income families who struggle to get by but must have these medications to enjoy a better quality of life,” added Gildon. “I believe this bill would give these individuals and families at least a little help.”
House Bill 2464 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.