U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) will not seek re-election in 2024, a decision that will deprive 340B covered entities of a reliable ally in Congress.
Stabenow issued a statement yesterday announcing her decision. She was one of six senators—three Democrats and three Republicans—who frequently collaborated on 340B matters during the 117th Congress and prior sessions of Congress. The group sponsored the Senate version of legislation ultimately enacted in March 2022 that helped hospitals restore or preserve their 340B eligibility during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 2020, she was part of a group of 22 Democratic senators that sent a letter to Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America President and CEO Stephen Ubl expressing deep concern about some PhRMA members’ denials of 340B pricing when covered entities use “legally permissible channels, such as contract pharmacies, to dispense 340B drugs.”
“This coercive behavior is ultimately most harmful to patients and should be reversed,” they wrote.
That same month, Stabenow was part of bipartisan group of 28 senators that wrote to then-U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar calling on HHS “to take appropriate, prompt enforcement action” against such drug companies.
Also yesterday, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) announced he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. “In the coming months I will undergo surgery, after which I am expected to make a full recovery,” he said in a statement. “I am confident that my recommended course of treatment will allow me to continue my service in the 118th Congress with minimal disruption, and I look forward to the work ahead.”
Casey serves on the Senate HELP Committee, which has jurisdiction over the 340B and other Public Health Service programs. He was one of the signers of the September 2020 letter to Azar.