Legislation in Connecticut that would have kept drug manufacturers from imposing “any preconditions, limitations, delays or other barriers” to 340B drug purchases “that are not required” by the 340B statute, died when this year’s legislative session ended on May 4.
SB 355 originally focused only on forbidding pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) from discriminating against 340B covered entities and their contract pharmacies but was expanded later.
The bill failed despite support from Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who submitted testimony urging its passage when it was before the state Senate Insurance and Real Estate Committee in March.
Tong supported the bill as written but also urged the committee “to examine what might be done” to address drug manufacturers’ refusals to provide 340B pricing when covered entities use contract pharmacies. The committee amended the bill to include the section prohibiting manufacturer restrictions on 340B pricing.
Tong was the driving force behind this week’s friend of the court briefs by 25 states supporting the federal government in 340B contract pharmacy litigation against drug manufacturers now before two federal appeals courts.
The bill was not only opposed by the state’s large and powerful health insurance industry but also pharmaceutical manufacturers that were concerned that the amended language would require them to provide 340B pricing in the contract pharmacy setting.
Pharmaceutical manufacturer trade groups as well drug industry-funded organizations such Citizens Against Government Waste, lobbied against the bill. The bill also was panned by a former senior executive at Pfizer in a letter to the editor in a Connecticut newspaper. Pfizer has a large presence in the state.