340B HEALTH CALLS ON BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM TO WITHDRAW THREAT TO DENY DRUG DISCOUNTS TO SAFETY-NET HOSPITALS
WASHINGTON, D.C.— On June 30, Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), one of the world’s largest drug companies, sent a letter to hospitals participating in the 340B drug pricing program informing them of the company’s intent to cut off discounted prices for covered drugs dispensed in community pharmacies.
If BI moves forward with this threat, it will join Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, and United Therapeutics in denying mandatory discounts to 340B covered entities. On May 17, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) sent letters to those six companies saying they were in violation of the 340B statute and demanding plans to restore the discounts and repay lost savings.
340B Health, representing more than 1,400 hospitals participating in 340B, is urging BI to withdraw its threat and continue to abide by federal law. If the company fails to do so, 340B Health will ask HRSA to take enforcement actions to halt the policy from going into effect.
“The decision of Boehringer Ingelheim, a multi-billion-dollar drug company, to violate the 340B law and withhold required discounts to many hospitals serving low-income and rural communities is appalling,” said 340B Health President and CEO Maureen Testoni. “By circumventing the law, BI will harm the financial health of safety-net providers across the country and the health and well-being of the patients they serve. The federal government has clearly stated actions like these are unlawful and must stop, but the company is ignoring this unequivocal directive and daring regulators to try to stop them.”
“Boehringer Ingelheim’s actions will deny patients with diabetes, asthma, COPD, and heart disease access to life-saving treatments. In 2020, BI earned nearly $20 billion in revenue and more than $3 billion in profits for its drugs. Instead of harming the safety net, drug companies such as BI need to keep their focus on patients,” Testoni added.
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