While Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and other lawmakers Oct. 11 said they generally support the federal 340B drug discount program, they said they want more accountability and transparency in the program.
The 340B program helps hospitals and other eligible entities stretch their resources so they can provide more care for uninsured and underinsured patients, Griffith said at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. But, he said the dramatic growth of the program and the lack of information about how it is used have led to questions about whether it has grown beyond Congress’s original intent.
Under the program, drug manufacturers provide outpatient drugs to covered entities, such as safety-net hospitals, at significantly reduced prices. Currently, covered entities aren’t required to report the savings they receive from the program and how they use those savings to the Department of Health and Human Services. The pharmaceutical industry has been critical of the program and wants Congress to make changes to the program to ensure it is benefiting patients.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the full Energy and Commerce Committee, agreed with Griffith, saying the lack of transparency requirements has resulted in inconsistent data and better data are needed. But he offered some praise for the program, saying he’s met with officials at rural hospitals who have told him it is vital to maintaining their levels of charity care. “For some entities, this program is the difference between keeping their doors open and closing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), ranking member of the full committee, said a panel investigation “found covered entities rely on 340B funds to provide a diverse range of essential services to the community.” According to Pallone, the discount program could be improved by increasing transparency, but it’s clear that 340B entities are using the savings to provide care, and Congress should support these efforts.
A House Energy and Commerce Committee spokeswoman didn’t return a request for comment on whether the panel has planned any future actions related to the 340B program.
Read my full article here.
Stay on top of new developments in health law and regulation with a free trial to the Health Law Resource Center.
Learn more about Bloomberg Law and sign up for a free trial.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)