340B Health


in 340B Health News Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Attorneys representing six national organizations of hospitals and pharmacists and three hospitals participating in the 340B drug pricing program yesterday sent letters to six pharmaceutical manufacturers demanding the companies cease 340B pricing practices that are in violation of federal law.

The Jan. 7 letters to Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Novartis, United Therapeutics, and Novo Nordisk call on the companies to “immediately discontinue” their practices of refusing to provide required 340B discounts to hospitals on drugs dispensed to their patients through community pharmacy partners. The six major manufacturers have either denied 340B pricing to hospitals partnering with community pharmacies or threatened to do so for hospitals that do not hand over pharmacy patient claims data. The letters cite the Dec. 30 advisory opinion from Department of Health & Human Services General Counsel Robert Charrow, which states that “a drug manufacturer in the 340B Program is obligated to deliver its covered outpatient drugs to those contract pharmacies and to charge the covered entity no more than the 340B ceiling price for those drugs.”

The letters also demand that the drug companies reimburse the hospitals for the losses they have incurred under the unlawful pricing practices. If a company refuses to discontinue its illegal practice, the letters add, “we will continue to seek to require that HHS enforce the 340B statute, covered entities are reimbursed for damages caused by the illegal policy, and the matter is referred to the HHS Inspector General for the imposition of civil money penalties.”

A federal lawsuit filed on Dec. 11 asks the court to order that HHS direct the manufacturers to provide 340B discounts for drugs dispensed through community pharmacies and reimburse affected hospitals and that HHS refer the issue to the OIG for assessment of penalties. 340B Health, the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), America’s Essential Hospitals (AEH), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) joined three 340B hospitals in filing the lawsuit.

A hearing on that lawsuit has been scheduled for Feb. 23.

Contact: Richard Sorian at richard.sorian@340bhealth.org or 202-536-2285.