U.S. House Passes Amendment Calling Contract Pharmacy Restrictions “Unlawful”

The U.S. House of Representatives approved by voice vote an amendment that called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “to protect the integrity of the 340B program by halting pharmaceutical manufacturers’ unlawful actions that have resulted in overcharges to 340B covered entities.” This amendment does not change the 340B statute to explicitly state that contract pharmacies are allowable. However, it is the first time that either house of Congress has voted on anything related to contract pharmacies, and it sends a clear signal — to HHS, the courts, and drug manufacturers — that Congress views contract pharmacy restrictions as “unlawful.” This vote will be very helpful in pushing back on drug makers’ claims that Congress never approved the contract pharmacy model.