340B Health

STATEMENT BY 340B HEALTH PRESIDENT AND CEO MAUREEN TESTONI ON NEW DRUG PRICING WEBSITE

in 340B Health News Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) today launched a new secure website that safety-net health providers participating in the 340B drug pricing program can use to determine the maximum prices pharmaceutical companies can charge for medications sold to them under the program. In 2010, Congress mandated that the government calculate and list these ceiling prices following reports by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) that documented a series of overcharges. That legislation also created civil monetary penalties for drug makers that “knowingly and intentionally” overcharge safety-net hospitals for 340B drugs, and those penalties took effect Jan. 1.

The following is a statement from 340B Health President and CEO Maureen Testoni:

“Today marks a positive milestone in the history of the 340B drug pricing program. Today’s launch of a secure website listing the maximum allowable prices for all 340B covered drugs brings a healthy dose of sunlight into a marketplace that has, for far too long, been a black box. Until today, hospitals, clinics, and health centers participating in 340B had no way to be sure they were paying the correct amount for the drugs they purchase.”

“The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) has documented numerous instances of drug manufacturers overcharging safety-net providers for life-saving medicines through 340B, undercutting resources designed to provide care to patients in need. This overcharging led Congress to direct the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) to create a secure website where the agency can post the 340B ceiling price for every drug sold to those providers. It has taken nine years to see that law turned into action, but we are pleased to see it happen.”

“Starting today, authorized personnel working for 340B providers can check the HRSA website and ascertain whether they are being charged the correct amounts. With this new transparency comes a needed increase in accountability for drug manufacturers. When this information is combined with the civil monetary penalty authority that Congress granted HRSA, manufacturers that knowingly and intentionally charge safety-net providers too much will be subject to financial penalties.”

“We are pleased that HRSA’s Office of Pharmacy Affairs and its leader, Captain Krista Pedley, have taken the actions needed to make today’s development possible, and we look forward to working with the agency as it enforces these critically important policies.”

Contact: Richard Sorian at richard.sorian@340bhealth.org or 202-536-2285.