NEARLY HALF OF U.S. HOUSE MEMBERS OPPOSE MOVE TO CONVERT 340B INTO A REBATE PROGRAM
WASHINGTON, D.C., NOV. 13, 2020— A bipartisan letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar signed by 217 members of the U.S. House of Representatives urges the administration to block a move by the pharmaceutical industry to convert up-front 340B drug pricing program discounts into post-sale rebates.
A group of House members led by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) – Reps. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), and David McKinley (R-W.V.) – are the authors of the letter. It raises the lawmakers’ “grave concern” about the drug consultant Kalderos working with its drug company clients to implement a rebate model. The letter notes that such a unilateral move would be inconsistent with 340B guidance, would give manufacturers tremendous leverage over covered entities, and could make 340B participation more difficult for providers.
The letter calls on Azar to make it clear to manufacturers that they cannot implement a 340B rebate model without seeking approval from the department. It also urges HHS not to approve such a major change without an official federal rulemaking process, and it lays out several questions for Azar on the Kalderos plans and the department’s response to them.
340B President and CEO Maureen Testoni applauded the strong House response to the drug industry actions.
“Overhauling the longstanding 340B discount model and replacing it with a rebate system will make it significantly more difficult and expensive for all 340B hospitals and community clinics to access 340B savings, and could result in denial of 340B pricing altogether,” Testoni said. “We appreciate the leadership of Rep. Spanberger and this large, bipartisan group of lawmakers standing up for 340B and urging Secretary Azar to take immediate action to protect 340B hospitals and the low-income patients who depend on them.”
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