AHA ramps up 340B protection efforts

The American Hospital Association teamed up with nonprofit organization 340B Health and the Arkansas Hospital Association to file an amicus brief against a constitutional challenge brought by a pharma lobby group. 

AHA, 340B Health and the Arkansas Hospital Association urged the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to not amend an Arkansas law that "prohibits discriminatory payment policies against 340B providers in the state, including drug company policies that restrict provider access to 340B discounts through community and specialty pharmacy partners," according to the three groups. 

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, also known as PhRMA, filed suit in 2021 against the Arkansas Insurance Department and then-Attorney General Leslie Rutledge about which pharmacies drugmakers must provide 340B discounts. In late 2022, a judge denied to hand PhRMA a summary judgment and ruled in the defendant's favor. PhRMA then appealed. 

In the amicus brief filed April 14, the three groups said the law, Act 1103, does not impede on the 340B drug pricing program. "Even if PhRMA's characterization of Act 1103 as a pricing statute were correct, the 340B statute does not preclude states from imposing their own indirect pricing conditions," the brief said. "There is nothing in the 340B statute that 'indicates whether [Congress] meant for it to be a regulatory floor or ceiling.'"

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