HHS backs down in legal fight over drug discount program with AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Novo and Sanofi
HHS’ Office of the General Counsel late Friday withdrew an advisory opinion from December “in light of ongoing confusion” about its scope and impact, and which said drugmakers are obligated to deliver covered outpatient drugs to contract pharmacies under the drug discount program known as 340B.
The backpedal from HHS comes as drugmakers including AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi sued HHS after the department threatened to fine them after they placed restrictions on which entities could receive deeply discounted prices for certain drugs, which originally had been for uninsured and vulnerable populations, but now included an increasing number of hospitals’ contract pharmacies. HHS said those restrictions placed by the drugmakers were in direct violation of the 340B statute, while the drugmakers said the number of new contract pharmacies has ballooned in recent years and driven up their costs.
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