Congress Passes Bills Aimed at Boosting Generics and Biosimilars

Congress has sent President Biden two bills to boost generic and biosimilar drugs. Generics are exact copies and biosimilars are highly similar to original brand products. | Shutterstock
The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills last week intended to reduce the overall costs of medications by boosting competition for generic drugs and biosimilars. As both bills were previously passed by the Senate, they are headed to President
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CBO Report: R&D Costs Do Not Influence Pharma Pricing

A prescription drug's sunk R&D costs do not influence the drug's price, the Congressional Budget Office found.
The pharmaceutical industry’s spending on research and development as a proportion of its revenue dwarfs virtually all other manufacturing sectors, but those costs do not really impact pricing, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.
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Pharma’s Plans to Rebuild Health Care Include Overhauling 340B

New reports from drugmaker Janssen (left) and PhRMA recommend taking 340B drug discounts away from hospitals and contract pharmacies and giving them to patients.
New reports from pharmacy giant Janssen and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) suggest that the pharma sector could be making the 340B program an even bigger target than it has been in recent years.
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Gilead’s HIV Drug Reimbursement Cut Will be Devastating, 340B Covered Entities Say

340B HIV/AIDS clinics say drugmaker Gilead's forthcoming cut in pharmacy reimbursement for the company's medicines that uninsured individuals get for free could rock their finances to the core. | Shutterstock
Drug manufacturer Gilead late last week announced a huge cut, effective Jan. 1, 2022, in pharmacy reimbursement for its HIV and hepatitis B medicines that uninsured individuals get for free through Gilead’s Advancing Access patient assistance program (PAP). 340B HIV/AIDS
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NY State 340B Providers Get More Time to Challenge Reimbursement Change

New York lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed on budget legislation this week that will delay a Medicaid drug benefit transfer opposed by 340B entities for two years.
New York state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) agreed this week to postpone transferring Medicaid managed care prescription drug benefits to Medicaid fee for service (FFS) for two years, temporarily averting a significant financial loss to 340B covered entities.
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Panel Lauds Women’s Role in Creating and Leading 340B

Participants in last week's Notable Women of 340B webinar included, clockwise from top left, Peggy Tighe, Colleen Meiman, Colleen DiClaudio, Marilyn Hayes, and Lorrie Carr.
Women have played a key role in the 340B program since its inception nearly 30 years ago. Their historic and ongoing involvement was observed and celebrated in “Notable Women of 340B,” a webinar broadcast by Community Voices for 340B (CV-340B)
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Panelists Share Insights on Using 340B in Prisons and Jails

Correctional institutions can maximize their funds and improve inmate care by partnering with or becoming 340B covered entities, but doing so can be tricky, experts said during a March 31 webinar. | Shutterstock
Prisons struggling with the high cost of treating inmates with viral illnesses such as hepatitis C and HIV can turn to the 340B program for relief, but participation is often tricky.

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340B Entities Keeping Watch on Bills to Create State Drug Affordability Boards

The Colorado General Assembly is one of nine state legislatures considering bills to create state drug affordability boards.
Nine states are considering legislation to create boards to review prescription drug prices and intervene to lower them if drugs become too expensive or if their prices spike. Although the board’s implications for the 340B program have not been fully
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340B Gets Cameo Role in Senate Hearing on Government Drug Price Negotiation

Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Aaron Kesselheim told a Senate subcommittee yesterday, “There’s no doubt the fact that 340B pricing is among the best prices we offer for certain high-cost drugs.”
The Senate committee with direct jurisdiction over the 340B program held its first drug pricing hearing of the 117th Congress Tuesday. It held the session amid signs that House Democrats want to add language to let Medicare negotiate drug prices
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Survey: Pharma’s 340B Contract Pharmacy Actions are Putting the Squeeze on Hospitals

Nearly all (97 percent) of all 340B hospitals in a recent survey said they are impacted by drug manufacturers' curbs on contract pharmacy use. | Shutterstock
340B hospitals are under significant pressure due to drug manufacturers ending 340B discounts on drugs dispensed by contract pharmacies, hospital advocacy group 340B Health says in its latest annual member survey.

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