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Representatives Express Concerns about 340B Threats

A bipartisan group of nearly 250 members of Congress sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar expressing concerns about recent actions by pharmaceutical manufacturers to undermine the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

The Sept. 14 letter was led by Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), along with Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Dusty Johnson (R-SD). It urges Azar to compel pharmaceutical manufacturers to comply with 340B program statute. America’s Essential Hospitals endorsed this letter and asked member hospitals to contact their congressional delegations in support of the effort.

The letter comes in response to concerning actions taken by several drug manufacturers to impose 340B policy changes regarding contract pharmacies. These manufacturer actions either threaten to cease shipping 340B-priced drugs to contract pharmacies of covered entities that have an in-house pharmacy, or impose cumbersome data reporting requirements on covered entities for contract pharmacy claims. These new requirements not only contravene manufacturers’ obligations under the 340B statute, but threaten essential hospitals’ ability to provide comprehensive care and access to life-saving drugs for the vulnerable populations they serve. The timing of the manufacturers’ actions is particularly egregious given essential hospitals’ role in treating populations disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, the association issued a statement condemning these unlawful actions and sent a letter to HHS asking the department to intervene.

Contact Vice President of Legislative Affairs Carlos Jackson at cjackson@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0112 with questions.

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About the Author

Nikki Hurt is a manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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