Emeka Egwim, a federal government HIV/AIDS policy specialist who also has served in the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, is the new head of the federal 340B Drug Pricing Program.
In a letter this morning to its staff, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced Egwim’s selection as the Director of the Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) within the Office of Special Health Initiatives (OSHI) in HRSA. OSHI Director Krista Pedley made the announcement. Pedley, a U.S. assistant surgeon general and U.S. Public Health Service rear admiral, ran OPA from July 2010 to January 2021 when she was tapped to head OSHI. Pedley’s long-time civil service deputy at OPA, Michelle Herzog, has been leading the 340B program on an acting basis. Pedley’s letter says Herzog will resume her role as OPA’s deputy director.
Egwim is a PHS lieutenant commander and his selection breaks ground as he will be the first Black leader of OPA in the 340B program’s 30-year history. His elevation to the OPA directorship is likely to be welcomed by HIV/AIDS stakeholders and grantee 340B covered entities. Some 340B stakeholders might be wary about Egwim’s time working at MDRP in the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services since the agency is perceived as being more sympathetic to the states than to 340B providers or the pharmaceutical industry.
According to Pedley’s letter to HRSA’s staff, “Egwim earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2011 from Howard University College of Pharmacy in Washington D.C. His career in public service began in OPA in 2011. In this role, he worked on the 340B Drug Pricing Program, and the Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative (PSPC) aimed at improving the quality of care and addressing costs for patients with complex conditions.”
The letter says Egwim “later served as a Pharmacist in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Division of Pharmacy, and was called to active duty in the United States Public Health Service in 2014. For six years in this capacity, Dr. Egwim provided policy and clinical expertise in the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program (MDRP), which generates over $35 billion annually in cost savings for more than 80 million Medicaid beneficiaries.”
The letter says Egwim most recently “served as a Senior Policy Analyst in HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau, where he focused on developing and implementing policies and initiatives in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. These efforts facilitated access to comprehensive treatment and support services for individuals and communities impacted by HIV across the nation, including strategies to help patients stay in care.”