On Wednesday, July 11, 2018, House lawmakers again signaled their intent to reform the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) 340B Drug Pricing Program (340B) during an Energy and Commerce (E&C) Subcommittee on Health hearing.
Since 2015, both E&C and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) have conducted hearings to examine 340B. Additionally, E&C issued a January 2018 report that details potential congressional and agency actions to improve 340B administration.
The federal program, which permits covered entities that serve a certain threshold of low-income patients to purchase discounted outpatient drugs, still enjoys broad bipartisan support despite calls by some members of Congress and the Trump Administration to implement additional oversight. Covered entities include certain hospitals, as well as federally supported health centers and specialized clinics that meet defined criteria. Established in 1992, 340B has expanded to comprise nearly half of America’s hospitals, many of which joined after the Affordable Care Act broadened eligibility.