A lack of inforcement has given an opening to drugmakers to restrict access to drugs discounted under the 340B program. Many acute sites of care are requesting the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) get involved to push back on drug companies, including Novartis and AstraZeneca, limiting their distribution of certain 340B drugs. But experts indicate their responsiveness this issues is unlikely, given their lack of commitment to enforce.
“It is an outrage that these actions are being taken at a time when hospitals are in the midst of their response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, which has further demonstrated the fractured, inadequate state of the prescription drug supply chain,” the American Hospital Association said in a release last week.
While a Senate bill aims to preserve 340B eligibility for hospitals affected by COVID-19, Astrazenica will not offer any discounted drugs to contract pharmacies beginning Oct. 1st. 340B advocates and hospitals are cahllenging this decision, as these third party pharmacies dispense drugs acquired under the program. This discount elimination is the most aggressive move to date in this dispute between drug companies and contract pharmacies.
We hope legislation will address these challenges, but if we can assist any idenpendent pharmcies in acquiring needed drugs and discounts, we are here to help. For background information on 340B.