Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Bill of the week: 340B drug availability

Mar 13, 2024
Illustration of the cover of a weekly planner notebook embossed with a gavel and block.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Rep. Doris Matsui wants to prevent drugmakers from placing restrictions on where hospitals and other providers in the 340B discount drug program can use their discounts.

Why it matters: As 340B costs have risen, manufacturers have placed guardrails around where the drugs can be dispensed and accused for-profit chain pharmacies and PBMs of siphoning off program funds.

  • Some states have responded with laws that block the manufacturers from limiting the availability of the drugs. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week upheld Arkansas' law after it was challenged by PhRMA.

What's inside: Matsui on Tuesday introduced a bill that would clarify that manufacturers are required to offer 340B discount prices to covered entities regardless of how or where a drug is dispensed.

  • Drugmakers wouldn't be able to place conditions on the ability of a covered entity to purchase and use 340B drugs.
  • The bill would impose penalties of up to $2 million a day on companies that violate the requirements.

The measure has the backing of groups including 340B Health, America's Essential Hospitals and the American Hospital Association.

What we're watching: Drug manufacturers oppose efforts to bar restrictions on pharmacy arrangements, saying they boost program integrity.

Go deeper