UCB to restrict 340B discounts to hospitals using community pharmacies

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Beginning Dec. 13, global drug company UCB will stop providing 340B discounts to hospitals for drugs dispensed at community-based pharmacies. 

UCB is now the ninth drug company to restrict 340B pricing for community pharmacies, according to a Nov. 23 news release from 340B Health, an association representing more than 1,400 public and private nonprofit hospitals and health systems participating in the federal drug pricing program, which requires drugmakers to sell their products at a discount to providers who serve low-income communities.

"UCB's decision to withhold 340B drug discounts from hospitals partnering with community pharmacies to serve patients is unconscionable," said Maureen Testoni, president and CEO of 340B Health. "We continue to urge the federal government to pursue enforcement actions against any companies that are in violation of the 340B law and to continue fighting in the courts to defend its authority to do so. This harmful drug company behavior must stop."

Drugmakers began imposing restrictions on 340B discounts afforded to hospitals participating in the program in July 2020. In December 2020, five national hospital organizations sued HHS, citing its failure to make drugmakers pay 340B discounts to hospitals that dispense their drugs through community pharmacies.

In October, pharmacy leaders from five health systems told Becker's such restrictions to 340B discounts have increased drug costs, limiting their ability to expand care access to indigent populations. 

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