HHS targets orphan drug discounts
HHS is moving forward with its plan to allow certain hospitals to receive discounts on orphan drugs when they are used for non-orphan conditions, despite a recent federal court ruling that said the agency did not have the authority to do so.
The agency last week asserted that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s ruling in May did not invalidate its 2013 orphan-drug exclusion rule interpreting a provision of the healthcare reform law.
That rule applies to four types of hospitals that participate in the 340B federal drug-discount program, which gives discounts on covered outpatient drugs to healthcare providers that serve large numbers of low-income and uninsured patients.
HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration said participating providers and manufacturers “should attempt to work out any issues in good faith” prior to the start of the new quarter July 1.