Ohio lawmakers aim to protect 340B hospitals from PBM price manipulations

Ohio lawmakers are promoting a bill that would stop pharmacy benefit managers from imposing additional charges or reducing reimbursements for prescription drugs for hospitals and clinics in the 340B drug-pricing program, according to The Columbus Dispatch

Hospitals and clinics in the 340B program are allowed to buy outpatient prescription drugs at a discount to serve low-income communities. But Ohio lawmakers say that pharmacy benefit managers, who negotiate drug prices, are giving 340B providers "discriminatory contracts that absorb all or part of the 340B savings by reducing reimbursements or adding fees," the Dispatch reported. 

Providers in the 340B program often feel they have to sign these contracts because they are smaller institutions with fewer resources and less bargaining power, Julie DeRossi King, COO of the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers, told the Dispatch

But they lose money with such contracts and are forced to reconsider participating in the 340B program, which is supposed to allow low-income communities access to affordable healthcare.

The legislation, introduced Jan. 28, would block pharmacy benefit managers from imposing additional charges or reducing reimbursements for 340B providers. 

The bill comes after a 2018 study that found that two pharmacy benefit managers in the Ohio Medicaid program charged the state three to six times more than the standard rate, making $244 million more in a year than they paid to pharmacies and kept that money for themselves, according to the Dispatch

Read the full article here

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