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Could the States Resolve the Contract Pharmacy Impasse?

After a recent lull in the ongoing battle over whether drug manufacturers can continue to place restrictions on access to 340B discounts in the contract pharmacy setting, things are heating up at the state level.

Recently, Louisiana and its bordering state to the north, Arkansas, took action to require drug manufacturers to restore 340B pricing at contract pharmacies in their respective states.  Louisiana’s law Act 358, which the state Senate passed unanimously and the state House cleared, 97-2, this summer, went into effect Aug. 1. As 340B Report’s Will Newton reported, the law prohibits actions by a drug manufacturer or distributor that would “deny, restrict, prohibit, or otherwise interfere” with the acquisition of a 340B discounted drug at a pharmacy that is under contract with a 340B provider. It specifies that any violation of the law is subject to penalties under Louisiana’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. PhRMA and Astra Zeneca both have filed suits in federal court against the state to block the law. 

On the day before the Louisiana law went into effect, Teva announced it suspended its contract pharmacy restrictions in the state and Merck said it would “voluntarily honor 340B discounts and chargebacks for contract pharmacy transactions” if hospitals and health centers register with and submit claims data to 340B ESP. Merck said its new, less stringent contract pharmacy policy would apply in both Louisiana and Arkansas. Read more >

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