BIPARTISAN GROUP OF U.S. SENATORS CALLS FOR HHS ACTION AGAINST UNLAWFUL MANUFACTURER PRICING POLICIES
WASHINGTON, D.C.— A bipartisan group of U.S. senators today sent a letter to the administration urging action against pharmaceutical manufacturers that are refusing to offer statutory discounts on drugs through the 340B drug pricing program.
Twenty-eight senators – 15 Democrats, 12 Republicans, and one independent – signed the letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar expressing their concerns about several companies that are refusing to offer 340B pricing on drugs dispensed through community pharmacies or are threatening to do so. The companies include Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca, which produce some of the top-selling drugs to treat patients with diabetes and cancer. The lawmakers say these refusals run counter to the 340B statute and would set a dangerous precedent for the program that would hurt safety-net providers and the patients they serve.
“As these threats to the Program progress, we fear the potential exacerbation of these shortfalls in resources for providers at a time when they are needed most,” the letter states. “While we understand that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is further investigating these actions, we urge HRSA to take immediate and appropriate enforcement action to halt these tactics and ensure safety-net providers are able to continue providing life-saving medications to patients across the country.”
340B Health President and CEO Maureen Testoni applauded the bipartisan group of senators, who join more than half of the members in the U.S. House, more than 1,100 hospitals participating in 340B, numerous national hospital, health center, and pharmacy organizations, and others in urging swift HHS action.
“The pharmaceutical manufacturers that are refusing to offer drug discounts are not just ignoring the federal statute,” Testoni said. “They also are ignoring a majority of elected officials in Congress, who share our view that this behavior is not only unlawful but also harmful to patients in need and to the dedicated health professionals who care for them. We reiterate our call on Secretary Azar to act now.”
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