– The controversy surrounding the notorious 340B Drug Pricing Program continues with more than 1,100 hospitals now urging HHS to stop pharmaceutical companies from refusing discounts for drugs covered by the federal program.
The Sept. 10th letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar was written by hospitals in response to a growing number of major pharmaceutical companies reining in the discounts they must offer to entities in the program.
For example, AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly recently announced that they would no longer provide lower drug prices for 340B entities for any of its drugs if they are dispensed through contract pharmacies.
Other companies including Merck, Sanofi, and Novartis have also asked for more detailed reporting from 340B hospitals on the drugs distributed through their contract pharmacies, which will be used by the drug manufacturers to determine discounts on drugs.
“These collective actions to deny access to 340B pricing are clear violations of the 340B statute that will set a dangerous precedent,” the letter stated. “The statute requires manufacturers to provide the 340B discounts to entities that meet 340B’s strict eligibility requirements and does not grant them the ability to condition the discounts or otherwise create barriers to covered entities’ ability to access the discounts.”
“If the administration permits pharmaceutical companies to continue these practices, 340B hospitals will face increased difficulties serving high volumes of patients living with low incomes in our rural and