- The American Hospital Association on Tuesday sent another letter to HHS about the 340B drug discount program, asking the department to stop drug manufacturers from limiting distribution of medicines covered by the program and asking for detailed information about distribution through hospital’s contract pharmacy arrangements.
- It follows a similar July letter protesting action from Eli Lilly and Merck. AHA said Sanofi, Novartis and AstraZeneca have followed suit with what the group calls “abusive tactics.”
- The Health Resources and Services Administration, which administers the program, said it is considering whether manufacturer policies violate the 340B statute and whether sanctions such as civil monetary policies may apply.
The 340B program has a storied history of conflicts between drug manufacturers, regulators and the hospitals that are enrolled, which are mostly disproportionate share and critical access facilities.
The most recent issue stems from drugmaker decisions to stop giving 340B discounts to contract pharmacies, which many hospitals use instead of dispensing drugs in-house. Manufacturers have said they are concerned about duplicate discounts through the program and Medicaid, which AHA characterizes as “unsubstantiated.”
“The drug companies are attempting to exploit for their financial benefit the current COVID-19 health care crisis,” AHA said in its letter. “As you are aware, hospitals throughout the nation are under severe stress by the need to prepare for, and/or care for, COVID-19 patients, while coping with the financial damages inflicted by the virus. Therefore, we urge you to act immediately against any drug manufacturer employing these pernicious tactics to ensure