State of Mississippi capitol building
Mississippi legislators have reintroduced legislation to stop drug companies from denying 340B covered entities access to the manufacturers’ products if the entity uses contract pharmacies.

Mississippi Reintroduces Bill to Ban Drug Makers’ 340B Contract Pharmacy Restrictions

Mississippi legislators have reintroduced legislation to stop drug manufactures from denying 340B covered entities access to the manufacturers’ products if the entity uses contract pharmacies.

Mississippi joins Missouri in making a second attempt to pass legislation modeled after the first-ever Arkansas contract pharmacy law that was passed in 2021. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit yesterday in a 3-0 decision ruled that the 340B statute does not require drug makers to deliver discounted 340B drugs to an unlimited number of contract pharmacies, handing drug manufacturers their first legal victory on the issue at the appellate level.

Mississippi Senate Bill 2484 and House Bills 987 and 1096 provide that a pharmaceutical manufacturer cannot:

  • Prohibit a pharmacy from contracting or participating with a 340B entity by denying access to drugs that are manufactured by the pharmaceutical manufacturer.  
  • Deny or prohibit 340B drug pricing for a pharmacy that receives drugs purchased under a 340B drug pricing contract pharmacy arrangement with a 340B entity.  

A similar bill introduced in Mississippi in 2021 died in committee, as did comparable bills introduced last year in California, Connecticut, Maine, and Utah.

The Mississippi bill, like the recent legislation unveiled in Missouri, also takes aim at practices by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and other payers that discriminate against 340B contract pharmacies, including:

  • Reimbursing a 340B entity for pharmacy-dispensed drugs at a rate lower than the rate paid for the same drug by non-340B pharmacies.
  • Assessing a fee, chargeback, or adjustment on a 340B entity that is not equally assessed on non-340B entities.
  • Excluding 340B entities from the PBM’s pharmacy network based on criteria not applied to non-340B entities.
  • Requiring modifiers to identify that the drug is a 340B drug. 
  • Discriminating against a 340B entity in a manner that prevents or interferes with the patient’s choice to receive drugs from the 340B entity.

“[The legislation] is definitely needed and we’re going to take whatever steps we can locally and nationally to ensure that these practices don’t continue,” Terrence Shirley, CEO of the Community Health Center Association of Mississippi (CHCAM), told 340B Report. “All of the things that [drug makers and PBMS] are attempting to do are catastrophic in the eyes of the organizations we represent and the patients we serve, and we want to ensure that all of the issues that are brought up within the bill are passed and not edited out.”