Hospitals call Boehringer Ingelheim’s contract pharmacy plans “appalling” while company calls for “substantial reform” of the 340B program.

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Boehringer Ingelheim Will Stop Shipping 340B Drugs to Hospitals’ Contract Pharmacies on Aug. 1

Drug manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) announced yesterday that it will stop shipping 340B-purchased drugs to hospitals’ contract pharmacies, effective Aug. 1.

Community health centers, HIV/AIDS clinics, and other federal grantee covered entities are exempt from BI’s new policy. It applies to all BI products except the company’s specialty drugs OFEV, Gilotrif, and Praxbind. BI will let hospitals without an in-house pharmacy designate a single contract pharmacy location to receive and dispense BI products. Hospitals will have to register with drug manufacturer vendor 340B ESP to make their contract pharmacy designation.

BI announced the new policy in letters to covered entities dated June 30. There also is a list of Boehringer Ingelheim NDCs to which the policy applies, dated June 28.

BI becomes the seventh drug manufacturer to announce 340B contract pharmacy restrictions, joining Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, and United Therapeutics.

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) informed those six companies in May that their policies have resulted in overcharges and are in direct violation of the 340B statute. HRSA said they must immediately begin offering their drugs at the 340B ceiling price through contract pharmacy arrangements, and repay entities for overcharges. Continued non-compliance could result in civil monetary penalties, HRSA said. If BI follows through with its policy, HRSA likely will determine that its restrictions, too, violate the 340B statute.

“340B covered entities should work with their contract pharmacy administrators and wholesalers to process any outstanding ‘Bill To / Ship To’ replenishment orders in advance of the August 1, 2021 effective date,” BI said in its letter to covered entities. “PHS [Public Health Service] contracts administered by our wholesalers will no longer support distribution of 340B purchased drugs to 340B contract pharmacies after August 1, 2021.”

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