The U.S. House on Wednesday passed and sent to President Biden a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief and economic recovery bill with provisions affecting the 340B program and its participants. Biden will sign the bill at the White House tomorrow.
The amended bill includes language that potentially could lead to 340B ceiling prices on some branded drugs being set lower than $0.01 starting in 2024. The bill also would allow outpatient drugs used for COVID-19 prevention or treatment to be included in the Medicaid drug rebate program.
Other highlights include $8.5 billion to reimburse rural health care providers for health care-related expenses and lost revenues attributable to COVID–19, and $7.6 billion to enable community health centers to carry out COVID-19 vaccine-related activities, for COVID-19 tracking and tracing, and other pandemic response needs.
Becerra Nomination Clears Procedural Hurdle
The U.S. Senate this afternoon voted 51-48 to discharge California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s nomination to be U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary from the Finance Committee. The committee split 14-14 along party lines on whether to favorably report Becerra’s nomination.
Today’s procedural vote signals that Becerra’s nomination ultimately will be approved. That vote has not yet been scheduled.