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House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Holds 340B Drug Pricing Program Hearing

June 04, 2024

The House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing today on the 340B Drug Pricing Program that has faced questions from lawmakers considering additional oversight and transparency measures, as well as eligibility changes.

Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said in her opening remarks, “This hearing is an opportunity for us to evaluate recent trends and developments in the health care system that impact the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The 340B program was created by Congress to ‘enable covered entities to stretch scarce federal resources to reach more eligible patients and provide more comprehensive services.’ It's a worthy goal and a seemingly straightforward one.”

Rogers added, “This Committee has focused so much effort over the past two years on increasing transparency in health care, tackling incentives in the prescription drug market that push up health care costs for Americans, and addressing site neutrality and other reforms that are driving consolidation. It should be a bipartisan goal for every member on this Committee to apply the same principles to the 340B program as well.”

Following testimony, Pennsylvania Rep. John Joyce (R-13) discussed the importance of the 340B program to providers in the state and its "staggering" growth in Pennsylvania. He also stressed that any reform of the program cannot come at the cost of patient access to needed medications.

Among the hearing’s takeaways:

  • Hearing objective:  Committee members heard from industry leaders about how the 340B program is working and, if necessary, how it could be improved.
  • New legislation:  On May 28, U.S. Representatives Larry Buschon, MD (R-IN), Buddy Carter (R-GA), and Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), introduced new legislation that would enforce rules, reinforce federal oversight, change the definition of a “patient” and determine criteria for contract pharmacy arrangements.
  • Quotable:  Matthew Perry, president and CEO of Genesis HealthCare System said in his written testimony, “Without robust 340B support for such comprehensive care, Genesis simply would not be financially viable, and taxpayers would be approached to cover the shortfalls to retain locally provided care. Patient care would be irreparably damaged, and some patients would fall through the cracks if this situation occurred. If patients in southeastern Ohio lost access to the services and support Genesis provides, they would need to travel significant distances to receive that care. Many would not be able to make that trip.”
  • Follow-up:  The committee has 10 days to submit additional questions to the witnesses for the record. Witnesses will have 10 days to provide responses.

Written remarks and video from today’s hearing are available online.

HAP continues to highlight the importance of the 340B Drug Pricing Program to support access to care. In an April letter to the U.S. Senate, HAP called for Congress to strengthen the program and support communities across Pennsylvania.

“The 340B program was created with the intention of helping hospitals provide valuable services in low-income and rural communities,” the letter said. “The Pennsylvania hospital community is supportive of changes that strengthen the program and appreciates the efforts of this group to protect it.”

For questions, contact John Myers, vice president, federal advocacy.