publication date: Oct. 24, 2014

Past Coverage of the 340B Program

Hospitals Urge Drug Maker to Reverse Policy

On Supplying Avastin, Rituxan, & Herceptin

Cancer centers and other hospitals, reeling from the loss of discounts and rebates on three widely used cancer drugs, are seeking to persuade drug maker Genentech to reverse its decision to channel these medications through six specialty distributors.

Until Oct. 1, Avastin (bevacizumab), Herceptin (trastuzumab) and Rituxan (rituximab) could be ordered from wholesalers, which provided discounts and rebates on large purchases. Genentech is a unit of Roche.

The company’s switch to specialty distributors, in effect, eliminated these benefits.

Genentech Move Nixes Hospital Discounts

Avastin, Herceptin, Rituxan Now Sold Under Tighter Control by Drug Maker

A move by Genentech has eliminated discounts and rebates hospitals receive when they purchase three of the company’s top-selling infused cancer drugs.

Beginning Oct. 1, hospitals can now order Avastin (bevacizumab), Herceptin (trastuzumab) and Rituxan (rituximab) exclusively from six specialty distributors authorized by the drug maker.

HRSA Defends Orphan Drug Rule

The Health Resources and Services Administration said it stands by its interpretation of the Affordable Care Act orphan drug exclusion, despite a recent court ruling that challenged its authority to engage in legislative rulemaking.

The ruling may have implications on another HRSA legislative rule, the “mega-rule,” which would clarify many of the fundamental definitions in the controversial 340B Drug Discount Program.

Judge’s Order Likely to Derail Federal Rule Clarifying 340B Drug Discount Program

Many people love the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

Hospitals, clinics and cancer centers rely on it to buy drugs at discounts as deep as 50 percent—and then collect reimbursements that don’t reflect the discount.

Many others hate 340B, arguing that the federal program gives qualified providers an unfair advantage, and making it even more difficult for office-based oncology practices to survive.

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