The House Committee on Energy and Commerce last week held a two-panel hearing focused on the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
The first panel included a witness from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) who focused on the latest GAO report on 340B contract pharmacies. The panel reviewed recommendations the agency made to the Health Resources and Services Administration on monitoring the 340B program.
The second panel included stakeholders and reviewed 15 bills aimed at improving the 340B program, as well as the growth, transparency, and intent of the program. America’s Essential Hospitals issued an Action Alert with more information on the bills that were discussed in the hearing.
Two essential hospital leaders testified as key witnesses: Frederick Cerise, MD, MPH, president and CEO of Parkland Health & Hospital System, in Dallas; and Charles Daniels, PhD, pharmacist-in-chief and associate dean of the University of California-San Diego.
Ways and Means Markup
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Ways and Means last week held a full committee markup on several consumer-driven health care bills, specifically focused on expanding health savings accounts and exploring alternative insurance plans. The markup included a controversial bill, H.R. 4616, which would postpone for an additional year both the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate and the Cadillac tax. H.R. 4616 passed out of the committee, and it is uncertain whether it will be brought to the House floor.
Additional Committee Activity
Three congressional panels will have hearings on July 17:
- the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on reducing health care costs;
- the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on examining state efforts to improve transparency and health care costs; and
- the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on modernizing Stark Law in Medicare.