The state assembly approved legislation on Thursday prohibiting prescription plans from charging copays in excess of the cash price of medications.
Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-12th District, sponsored Senate Bill S2690 and Assembly Bills 3993/2214 that reduces the price consumers pay for their prescription drugs.
It passed the Senate in February and moves to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk for review.
A press release from Senate Republicans stated that pharmacy benefit managers, middlemen controlling prescription drug plans for health insurers, “clawback” profits by setting copays that are higher than the cost of some commonly prescribed medicine.
“We’re doing away with the games and making the process fair and transparent,” said Dancer. “Patients who need prescriptions for their health should not be subjected to profit-motivated deception.”
The measure also bans gag clauses in insurance contracts preventing pharmacies from informing customers their prescriptions would cost less if they paid cash. The bill specifies that pharmacies are permitted to disclose lower cost options to patients.
“The deck is stacked against prescription users who have no idea this is going on. The gag clause prohibits the pharmacists from informing their customers of this scheme. That’s not acceptable. Nobody should pay more for required drugs because they are insured,” said Dancer.
Under the bill, New Jersey would become the seventh state in three years to ban gag clauses and the 12th state to outlaw copay clawbacks.