MORE THAN HALF OF U.S. HOUSE BACKS 340B HOSPITALS IN CALLING ON HHS TO STOP UNLAWFUL MANUFACTURER PRICING BEHAVIOR
WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 15, 2020— A bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives is urging the administration to use its authority to stop drug manufacturers from blocking safety-net hospital access to discounts that the 340B drug pricing program requires.
Reps. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) led a group of 243 House members in sending a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking HHS to protect 340B and the health care safety net. The letter calls on the secretary to stop manufacturers from refusing to offer 340B discounts on drugs dispensed through community-based pharmacies. Two companies have announced such pricing policy changes in violation of 340B statute, and three additional manufacturers have threatened to do the same or take other drastic action if safety-net providers do not turn over data on millions of patient claims to the companies.
“Protecting access to prescription drugs for underserved communities should be a top priority. Unfortunately, the big pharmaceutical companies’ recent actions to restrict 340B drug discounts could jeopardize the ability of hospitals to provide vital services to vulnerable populations,” Rep. McKinley said in a statement. “Our letter shows strong bipartisan opposition to this action, and hopefully will convince HHS to intervene.”
340B President and CEO Maureen Testoni applauded the House leaders who spearheaded the letter effort and all the members who signed on. “This is a powerful example of the strong, bipartisan support that the 340B drug pricing program has maintained over decades by forming an invaluable element of the U.S. health care safety net,” Testoni said. “The health care community and Congress are united in opposition to drug manufacturers that are ignoring the 340B statute and harming patients who rely on the care made possible through program discounts. It is time for Secretary Azar to act on behalf of these patients in need.”
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