More than Half of U.S. House Asks Azar to Address Drug Makers’ 340B Actions Immediately

In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, more than half of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives indicated that “it is imperative that immediate action is taken to ensure covered entities continue to receive crucial 340B drug discounts.” The bipartisan Sept. 14 letter, was spearheaded by Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) in response to recent drug manufacturer actions to restrict federally required 340B drug discounts. The letter asserts the actions undermine the 340B program’s intended purpose and the 243 representatives said HHS, “must take immediate action to stop these companies from either denying or limiting access to 340B pricing to hospitals, health centers, and clinics participating in 340B.” The bipartisan letter is a powerful political rebuke of five drug manufacturers’ recent actions limiting contract pharmacy participation in the program. The bipartisan letter increases pressure on Azar to do something to stop the drug makers. Fourteen of the 18 members of the Pennsylvania delegation signed on to the letter including Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Luzerne), Rep. Madeline Dean (D-Montgomery), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny), Rep. Dwight Evans, (D-Philadelphia), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester), Rep. Fred Keller (R-Lycoming), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Erie), Rep. Connor Lamb (D-Allegheny), Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Westmoreland), Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware), Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Centre) and Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh). In addition, 28 U.S. senators-including Senator Casey (D-PA)-also wrote a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to urge the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) “to take immediate and appropriate enforcement action” to halt “recent actions from pharmaceutical manufacturers that threaten to undermine the role of contract pharmacies in the 340B drug pricing program.”