A bipartisan group of 243 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar Sept. 14 urging him to use his authority to stop drugmakers from blocking safety-net hospitals’ access to 340B discounts.
Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va., Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., Doris Matsui, D-Calif., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., led the House members in sending the letter.
The letter calls on Mr. Azar to stop drugmakers from refusing to offer 340B discounts on drugs dispensed through community pharmacies.
Eli Lilly told hospitals as of Sept. 1, it will no longer give 340B discounts to hospitals that ship drugs to contract pharmacies instead of dispensing them in-house. AstraZeneca said it would do the same, effective Oct. 1. Three other drugmakers — Merck, Sanofi and Novartis — have also threatened to withhold discounts, claiming it is necessary to avoid paying duplicate discounts.
“Protecting access to prescription drugs for underserved communities should be a top priority. Unfortunately, the big pharmaceutical companies’ recent actions to restrict 340B drug discounts could jeopardize the ability of hospitals to provide vital services to vulnerable populations,” Mr. McKinley said. “Our letter shows strong bipartisan opposition to this action, and hopefully will convince HHS to intervene.”
HHS has not released a statement on the issue. Becker’s has reached out to HHS for comment and will update this story accordingly.
More articles on pharmacy:
Gilead expands oncology portfolio, acquires Immunomedics for $21B
NIH testing blood thinners as COVID-19 treatment
8 considerations to take when preparing for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.