U.S. House Appropriations Committee room
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee says HRSA should use "any available means" to hold drug makers accountable for curtailing "use of 340B drugs in contract pharmacies."

House Appropriators Ask Feds to Use “Any Available Measures” to Curb Pharma’s 340B Pricing Denials

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee said this week it is concerned about the growing number of drug manufacturers “that curtail the use of 340B drugs in contract pharmacies.” It encouraged the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to use “any available measures,” including imposing civil monetary penalties, “to hold those drug manufacturers in violation of the law directly accountable.”

The committee is marking up its fiscal year 2023 spending bill for labor, healthcare, and related agencies today. It released its report to accompany the bill yesterday. Appropriations bills traditionally start in the House. It has passed none of the 12 bills for fiscal 2023 yet. Because this is an election year, there are fewer congressional workdays in Washington scheduled so members can campaign. Funding for all or most government agencies probably will be provided for under a series of temporary catch-all spending bills.

According to the committee report, the U.S. Office of Pharmacy Affairs, the office within HRSA that administers the 340B program, would receive $13.2 million for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, a $2 million increase over this fiscal year’s level. The Biden administration asked for $17 million for OPA in March.

In the spending bill report, the committee had this to say about the ongoing fight over 340B contract pharmacy:

“The Committee is concerned by the fact that the number of pharmaceutical manufacturers that are violating the 340B statute has dramatically increased, threatening the ability of safety-net providers to care for patients in need. The Committee is pleased that HRSA has continued to take steps to enforce the statute and take action against companies that curtail the use of 340B drugs in contract pharmacies, refer violations of the statute by manufacturers to the HHS Office of Inspector General, and appeal litigation in these matters. The Committee encourages HRSA to continue to use its authority and any available measures, including the imposition of civil penalties, where appropriate, to hold those drug manufacturers in violation of the law directly accountable. The Committee urges HRSA to continue to take actions to safeguard covered entities’ lawful access to discounted drugs.”

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