800+ hospitals urge HHS to appeal court decision that threatens 340B pricing

More than 800 hospitals participating in the 340B drug pricing discount program penned a letter to HHS Dec. 20, asking the federal government to appeal a Nov. 5 federal court decision that upheld price denials from two drugmakers. 

The letter says pharmaceutical manufacturers have been unilaterally denying 340B pricing to hospitals partnering with community-based pharmacies to dispense drugs. It references a decision from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that upheld price denials by two manufacturers, though the decision did not declare their actions permissible under the 340B law. The ruling essentially allows drugmakers to "continue their unlawful denial of discounts that we rely on to serve our patients." 

"340B is a lifeline to hospitals caring for low-income patients and those living in rural

communities," 852 hospitals said in the letter to HHS secretary, Xavier Becerra. "340B savings allow us to stretch our scarce resources to serve more patients and offer more comprehensive services without using taxpayer dollars."

The Nov. 5 ruling comes after the Health Resources and Services Administration notified six drugmakers that their policies violated federal law. The companies challenged HRSA's notice and enforcement actions, and the decision from the D.C. District Court determined HRSA's interpretation of the 340B statute was incorrect. 

"We strongly urge the government to appeal or otherwise respond to the D.C. District Court’sdecision and continue to press for a restoration of 340B pricing as rapidly as possible," the letter said.

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