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in 340B Health News Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Yesterday, pharmaceutical giant Biogen announced it would start restricting safety-net hospitals’ access to 340B discounts on two of its major therapies used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). The policy will make Biogen the 19th company to impose unlawful, unilateral 340B restrictions on hospitals that partner with community and specialty pharmacies to dispense prescription drugs to their patients. Starting Feb. 1, 2023, Biogen says it will stop providing 340B pricing to hospitals on interferon products Avonex and Plegridy when distributed through these partner pharmacies, with limited exceptions. Such drugs help people living with MS by lowering the number of relapses, slowing the onset of disability, and lessening new disease activity.

The following statement is attributed to 340B Health President and CEO Maureen Testoni:

“Nearly 1 million people in the U.S. are living with multiple sclerosis, and many require the specialized drugs and comprehensive health care services that 340B hospitals provide. Yet, despite bringing in nearly $1.6 billion in revenues for its blockbuster interferon drugs in 2021, Biogen is depriving safety-net hospitals of needed resources from mandated 340B discounts and keeping those dollars. In doing so, the company will harm hospitals’ ability to care for people with MS and millions of other chronically ill patients in need.”

“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), bipartisan groups of lawmakers, and two federal courts have said such 340B pricing restrictions are illegal, but Biogen and 18 other drug companies are blatantly ignoring the law. The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) must impose steep financial penalties for these intentional overcharges of 340B hospitals.”

The drugmakers with unlawful 340B pricing restrictions are AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bausch Health, Biogen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Exelixis, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, UCB, and United Therapeutics.

Contact: David Glendinning at david.glendinning@340bhealth.org or 202-536-2289.