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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Asks HHS Secretary to Stop Drug Companies’ Illegal 340B Actions


    Ivy Baer, Senior Director and Regulatory Counsel

    The AAMC and five other organizations representing hospitals and pharmacists sent a letter on April 20 to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, JD, requesting that the HHS immediately take action to prevent six drug companies from refusing to provide hospitals with 340B discounts for drugs dispensed through community pharmacies (also known as “contract pharmacies”).

    The letter highlighted the importance of community pharmacies and requested that the “HHS immediately and definitively state that these refusals to provide discounts are illegal and take the action Congress specifically prescribed to address this type of situation — impose civil money penalties.”

    The same organizations — the AAMC, the American Hospital Association, 340B Health, America’s Essential Hospitals, the Children’s Hospital Association, and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists — previously filed a lawsuit after Eli Lilly and Co. and five other major drug manufacturers refused to provide these discounts [refer to Washington Highlights, Dec. 18, 2020].

    Following the lawsuit, the HHS General Counsel issued an advisory opinion that said that the drug companies’ actions were illegal and that drug companies were required by law to offer the 340B drug discounts to hospitals for drugs dispensed through community pharmacies [refer to Washington Highlights, Jan. 13]. There is ongoing litigation initiated by the drug companies that challenges the advisory opinion and other related issues.