The battle in the courts among providers, drug manufacturers, and health officials over 340B contract pharmacy likely will take time to play out, 340B Report Publisher and CEO Ted Slafsky writes in his latest column for Omnicell (a 340B Report sponsor).
“It could be at least a few months before we see concrete action” in manufacturers’ and provider groups’ contract pharmacy-related suits against the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS), and in contract pharmacy-related proceedings providers initiated under the new 340B program administrative dispute resolution (ADR) system, Slafsky said. Community health centers and HIV/AIDS clinics have paused their contract pharmacy lawsuits against HHS to let the ADR process play out.
“They believe that by going through the formal dispute resolution process, it will strengthen their hand once the board makes a final agency decision in their favor,” he said. “Drug manufacturers will not be able to argue later, in an appeal to the courts, that HRSA bypassed the process, and courts generally defer to final federal agency determinations.”
“We can expect manufacturers to be back in court once they lose the ADR rulings,” Slafsky said.
“All of this means more months of chaos, uncertainty and financial loss to safety net providers and their patients,” he concluded. “340B providers will need to be innovative to offset the significant financial loss they will continue to incur. They will also have to devote more resources and time to help patients who are the ultimate causalities of this needless attack on the contract pharmacy program.” You can read his full column here.