Vermont State Attorney General T.J. Donovan (D) has issued a subpoena to drug manufacturer Sanofi “seeking certain information about Sanofi’s 340B program participation,” the company disclosed last week.
Neither Sanofi nor Donovan’s office have responded to requests for comment. Sanofi disclosed the inquiry in its annual financial report for 2020 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It announced it filed the SEC form, called a 20-F, last Thursday, March 4.
Sanofi is one of six drug companies that either have stopped providing 340B discounts on drugs dispensed by contract pharmacies or conditioned discounts on provision of 340B contract pharmacy claims data. The other companies are Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Novartis, United Therapeutics, and Merck. None of the other five companies have disclosed receiving a 340B-related subpoena from Donovan in their SEC forms 10-K (for domestic companies) or 20-F (for foreign companies).
Donovan was among the bipartisan group of 29 state attorneys general who in December asked then-U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar “to address drug manufacturers’ unlawful refusal to provide critical drug discounts to covered entities.” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, President Biden’s nominee to be the next (HHS) Secretary, was one of the four attorneys general who led the effort to urge Azar to act.
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee last week split 14-14 along party lines on whether to favorably report Becerra’s nomination to the full Senate, which is divided 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Kamala Harris (D) holding the tie-breaking vote. Under the Senate power-sharing agreement, Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) notified the Secretary of the Senate about the tie. Under Senate procedures, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will schedule up to four hours of debate on whether to discharge the nomination, followed by a vote on the motion, and finally a vote on whether to confirm Becerra. Schumer had not yet moved to discharge the nomination as of this morning. However, the Democratic-controlled chamber is expected to approve Becerra for the post.