Pharmaceutical Transparency Bill Passes the Senate

DENVER - Continuing a trend of working toward more affordable healthcare reforms for Coloradans in 2018, Senator Beth Martinez Humenik (R-Thornton) sponsored HB-1284. The bill provides transparency and affordability in pharmacies.

"When people are able to understand exactly how much they paying for prescriptions and what alternative medications exist, they can make the decision to pay cash or to pay their insurance co-pay," said Senator Martinez Humenik. "This is important to consumers and one of the the many reasons there is bipartisan support for this legislation."

The bill, which passed out of the House of Representative with an overwhelming 57-5 vote, will now head to the Governor's desk after receiving 34-1 approval in the Senate.

HB-1284 allows pharmacists to share information about the costs of prescription drugs and savings by providing cash payment versus an insurance co-pay as well as affordable alternative medication available that is therapeutically equivalent. A pharmacy, pharmacist or pharmacy benefit manager cannot be penalized for disclosing the information described in the bill and they cannot charge or collect copayment that exceeds the total charges submitted by the network pharmacy.

"Currently, pharmacists are not allowed to tell a customer that their prescription would cost less than an insurance plan co-pay if the prescription drug is paid for with cash.  In addition, they are not allowed to provide information about cheaper alternative medications that are available," continued Senator Martinez Humenik. "Transparency regarding medications that are more affordable is what working families, individuals and seniors want so they can make decisions regarding cost savings on their prescription drugs.  This will be now be provided with HB-1284."

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