HHS Secretary Alex Azar (AP Images)

At­tor­neys gen­er­al ask HHS to pun­ish 340B pro­gram bilk­ers — but phar­ma claims it's fight­ing 'waste and abuse'

Imag­ined as a ben­e­fit for low-in­come pa­tients, the gov­ern­ment’s 340B scheme re­quires par­tic­i­pat­ing drug­mak­ers to sell their drugs at sig­nif­i­cant dis­counts to play ball in Medicare and Med­ic­aid. But some phar­mas are now loud­ly re­fus­ing to fol­low the rules af­ter cit­ing “waste and abuse” — and state pros­e­cu­tors are de­mand­ing an in­ter­ven­tion.

In a Mon­day let­ter to HHS Sec­re­tary Alex Azar, a group of at­tor­neys gen­er­al from 28 states and the Dis­trict of Co­lum­bia called on the agency to im­pose civ­il penal­ties on a group of Big Phar­ma play­ers it claims have ei­ther stopped or plan to stop hon­or­ing dis­counts un­der the gov­ern­ment’s 340B pro­gram.

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