AstraZeneca slammed by advocacy group over drug discount denials

AstraZeneca decided it will begin denying the discounts it offers under the federal 340B drug pricing program to on-site hospital pharmacies on Oct. 1, according to a statement from the British drugmaker.

The Aug. 17 statement did not disclose the reason for the upcoming discount denials, but detailed that all 340B pricing for on-site hospital pharmacies will be honored through Sept. 30.

The following day, drug pricing organization 340B Health issued a statement on AstraZeneca’s decision to deny 340B discounts to on-site hospital pharmacies.

“The action of AstraZeneca is a direct attack on the 340B drug pricing program that will hurt hospitals, health centers, and clinics as well as the low-income and rural Americans who rely on them for care,” the statement, attributed to 340B Health President and CEO Maureen Testoni, reads. “We believe that refusing to offer discounts that the 340B statute requires is a violation of federal law. We are calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Azar to exercise his authority to stop these overcharges before they cause permanent damage to the health care safety net.”

340B Health’s statement also accused AstraZeneca of being “one of several major manufacturers” to recently deny access to its drug pricing.

“If the administration will not use its authority to enforce the law, we will pursue all legislative and legal avenues available to us to defend the safety net,” the final sentence of 340B Health’s statement reads.

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