Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

July 13, 2017

Senator Looney and Senator Fasano Applaud Governor’s Signing of Legislation Enhancing Pharmaceutical Transparency and Consumer Protection

HARTFORD, Conn.—Today Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) and Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) applauded Governor Malloy’s signing of important patient-friendly bipartisan legislation.

Public Act 17-241 An Act Concerning Contracts Between a Pharmacy and a Pharmacy Benefits Manager, the Bidirectional Exchange of Electric Health Records and the Charging of Facility Fees by a Hospital or Health System will help increase transparency regarding pharmaceutical costs, prevent consumers from paying more for prescription drugs than the drug actually costs and ensure fair competition to benefit consumers.

This legislation was crafted in partnership between Sen. Looney and Sen. Fasano and is an extension of their efforts over several years to implement significant health care reforms in the state of Connecticut.

“This new law is a continuation of our bipartisan effort and commitment to pass legislation that protects patients in the healthcare system,” said Sen. Looney and Sen. Fasano. “It will protect patients from price gouging by pharmacy benefits managers and ban gag clauses that prevent pharmacists from informing patients when lower cost equivalent alternatives are available and when the patient’s copay is higher than the price of the medication. It will ensure that drug and medical device manufacturers who violate antitrust laws, by price fixing for example, can be held accountable. And finally, it will require more transparency when it comes to facility fees to ensure that patients are not surprised by fees when they receive medical services.

“We thank all stakeholders who participated in the process to craft this bill, provide feedback and help us create strong, sound policies for our state. That includes retail pharmacists, pharmaceutical manufacturers, the AARP, the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, as well as the PBM industry, representatives of the health plans and representatives of the administration. In passing this bill the General Assembly sent a strong message that we believe it’s good policy to prohibit secret claw backs that cause consumers to pay more than the actual cost of the drug as well as other anticompetitive behavior. We also believe such policies should have real teeth to them so they can be enforced and consumers who have been harmed can be made whole. This is a major accomplishment for our state and reaffirms Connecticut’s role as a leader in establishing smart, compassionate consumer-focused policies in the health care industry.”