After five major court decisions on the 340B contract pharmacy standoff and no quick resolution in sight, expect Congress to end the fight over contract pharmacy before the 2022 midterm elections, 340B Report Publisher and CEO Ted Slafsky predicts in his latest column for Omnicell.
The three judges who issued the five decisions all “made it clear that they think Congress should clarify the scope of the 340B contract pharmacy program,” Slafsky writes.
“I expect the legislative arena could become the final arbiter in this ongoing battle,” he says. “With all the court rulings likely to be appealed and the cases likely to drag on for years, I suspect that patience will wear thin quickly and Congress will be prompted to act. My bets are that this will take place prior to the midterm elections next fall.”
Slafsky also explores how the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections affected 340B program enforcement, and how the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) changing position affected judges’ decisions.
“There will be other court decisions soon that may impact HRSA’s next move,” he writes. “But the agency’s inconsistent messaging on such a fundamental matter as its ability to enforce a central component of the 340B program underscores the challenges that government agencies have when it is at the whim of the administration in power.”