340B HEALTH URGES ADMINISTRATION TO SUPPORT THE 340B DRUG DISCOUNT PROGRAM
WASHINGTON, D.C.—340B Health today urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to “support the 340B drug pricing program.” The organization cautioned that the Trump Administration’s focus on the 340B drug pricing program “could damage a high-performing program that provides free or low-cost care to millions of low-income and rural Americans at no cost to the taxpayers.”
In response to HHS’ request for information (RFI) on the “Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices,” the association rejected the idea that 340B discounts are causing manufacturers to hike their prices. “The notion that the 340B drug discounts – which amount to less than 2 percent of manufacturers’ revenue – are driving prices up is not supported by the facts. Under our current regulatory system, the only institutions that set drug prices and raise them are the manufacturers based on what the market will bear,” the letter says. “There is no evidence that reducing the level of discounts that manufacturers provide to hospitals would result in manufacturers voluntarily lowering list prices rather than simply returning those amounts to their respective companies and shareholders.” Click here for the full text of 340B Health’s comments.
In the RFI, the administration asked a series of questions about the 340B program. In its response, 340B Health said that “program changes that would limit hospital access to 340B savings would reduce their financial resources, harming their ability to treat patients.” In addition, 340B Health said:
- Rural hospitals rely on their contract pharmacy benefit to ensure access to care in remote areas and keep their doors open and “restricting the contract pharmacy benefit would harm access to care in rural areas and increase costs for low-income patients, including drug costs.”
- “It is not clear that HHS needs additional regulatory authority to administer the 340B program given that the agency has not fully exercised its existing authority, by enforcing a policy that discourages manufacturers from increasing drug prices.” The letter notes that the federal government has delayed enforcement of those rules five times, most recently putting it off until July 1, 2019.
Contact: Tom Mirga at (202) 552-5853 or firstname.lastname@example.org