WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joined a bipartisan letter led by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar urging immediate enforcement action to halt pharmaceutical companies which threaten to undermine the 340B Drug Pricing Program and to ensure safety-net providers are able to continue providing life-saving medications to patients.
“It is critically important 340B covered entities and other safety-net hospitals and providers are able to continue to serve the individuals who seek out their care,” wrote the senators. “As these threats to the program progress, we fear the potential exacerbation of these shortfalls in resources for providers at a time when they are needed most.”
The 340B program requires drug companies to sell discounted prescription drugs to safety net hospitals, rural health facilities, and other entities that provide care in underserved communities. However, drug manufacturers have recently announced new burdensome requirements on covered entities beyond the scope of the 340B program, or they have announced that they will no longer provide discounts for medications shipped to pharmacies that dispense drugs to patients on behalf of covered entities.
This bipartisan effort is supported by the American Hospital Association (AHA), America’s Essential Hospitals, and American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Senators Cramer and Baldwin were joined on the letter by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Thune (R-SD), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Doug Jones (D-AL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Gary Peters (D-MI), John Boozman (R-AR), Bob Casey (D-PA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mark Warner (D-VA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Angus King (I-ME), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).