Bloomberg Law recently quoted Powers attorney Mark Ogunsusi (PharmD, JD) in an article discussing the growing trend of state legislators introducing bills aimed at protecting a common use of the federal 340B drug pricing program that the pharmaceutical industry has recently refused to honor.  The bills are intended to protect the right of hospitals and clinics participating in the 340B program to contract with retail and specialty pharmacies to receive and dispense 340B-discounted medications.  These contract pharmacy arrangements have been used by 340B providers for more than 25 years as a way to make 340B drugs more accessible to their patients.  But in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers began denying or restricting delivery of 340B drugs to contract pharmacies, significantly reducing the benefit of the 340B program for both providers and their patients.

At least seventeen states have introduced bills to protect delivery of 340B drugs to contract pharmacies, but legal challenges from the drug industry have ensued.  Mark was quoted in the Bloomberg article saying that these “state 340B drug distribution laws have real enforcement teeth and impact.”  He is also quoted saying that these contract pharmacy bills “relate to 340B drug distribution, which is not covered under the federal 340B statute and is well within a state’s police power to protect under fundamental principles of federalism.”

Powers successfully represented Arkansas safety net providers in their defense of Arkansas’s contract pharmacy law, Act 1103, which was upheld in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.  Read the full article on Bloomberg Law’s website.

For more information on Powers’ 340B drug pricing practice, visit https://www.powerslaw.com/practicearea/drug-pricing/.

Powers is a renowned Washington, DC-based law and government relations firm specializing in healthcare and regulatory matters, education, and the law of tribal nations. Powers’ 340B program practice has been at the forefront of defending and advancing the 340B program, advocating for the needs of safety net providers and their patients for several decades. Powers assists 340B covered entities and other 340B stakeholders – including Ryan White Clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, children’s hospitals, disproportionate share hospitals, rural hospitals, retail pharmacies and contract pharmacy administrators. William von Oehsen helped draft the original 340B legislation as well as significant amendments to the statute under the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

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