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Stabenow Introduces Prescription Drug Bills

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow visited the Ishpeming Senior Center Tuesday morning to introduce legislation that aims to lower prescription drug costs.

According to the AARP, the price for the most popular brand-name drugs rose 208 percent between 2008 and 2016.

Senator Stabenow’s legislation has three-parts, and the first bill already has bipartisan support.

The Know the Lowest Price Act allows pharmacists to provide drug price information when there is a difference between a customer’s co-pay and the out of pocket cost.

Stabenow said, “If you are using insurance, they can tell you what your co-pay is, but if your co-pay is $20 and you could pay $5 if you paid cash, oftentimes, their contracts prohibit them from telling you,” said Senator Stabenow. “It makes no sense, these are gag clauses.”

Part two, or the Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act, would allow for the negotiation of drug prices with drug companies.

Negotiations between Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and pharmaceutical companies is prohibited under current law, affecting patients enrolled in Medicare Part D.

The last bill, the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, authorizes regulations permitting wholesalers, licensed U.S. pharmacies and individuals to import drugs from licensed sellers in Canada.

While the last two bills do not have bipartisan support yet, Senator Stabenow hopes the legislation will move forward this year.

For more on this story, visit ABC-10’s website.

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