Health centers leaders are applauding the Biden administration’s decision yesterday to push back, from today until March 22, the effective date of the Trump administration’s controversial final rule to require health centers to provide insulin and injectable epinephrine to low-income patients at the price centers pay for those drugs under the 340B program.
The new administration delayed the rule’s effective date pursuant to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain’s Jan. 20 “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” memo. “The temporary delay in the effective date of this final rule is necessary to give Department officials the opportunity for further review and consideration of new regulations, consistent with” the freeze memo, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Acting Secretary Norris Cochran said in the Federal register notice.
Health centers say that although rule might be well-intended, taking away their 340B savings on insulin and EpiPens and is the wrong way to reduce what patients pay for those medications. They have lobbied the incoming administration to first delay and eventually withdraw the rule. The leaders were alarmed because Klain’s freeze memo made it optional, not necessary, for federal agency heads to delay implementing Trump administration rules like the 340B insulin directive that had been published but whose effective dates had not yet arrived.