Grassley Seeks Answers from Drug Companies on Providing Required Discounts Print
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 30 September 2013 15:49

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has written to two drug companies on behalf of an Iowa hospital that is not receiving required discounts on two drugs, despite a federal program to help uninsured patients with deeply discounted drugs.  Grassley is seeking information from the companies and also more oversight from the federal agency in charge of the drug program to ensure the companies provide the required discounts.

“The program is designed to help patients who have no means of receiving prescription drugs except through a hospital or community health center that agrees to treat them,” Grassley said.  “The federal agency in charge of the program has to make sure the program is working.  That means making sure hospitals get the discounted drugs they’re entitled to receive so they can treat patients in need.”

Grassley wrote to CSL Behring, the maker of a drug called Kcentra, used as an antidote for blood thinner poisoning; and to Pacira Pharmaceuticals, the maker of a drug called Exparel, used in surgical closings, on behalf of an Iowa hospital that is having difficulty obtaining the required discounts on the drugs through the federal 340B program.  The constituent hospital, which prefers not to be named at this time, brought the concerns to Grassley’s attention in July, and Grassley’s staff has been working with the Health Resources Services Administration, which oversees the 340B program, and the constituent hospital since that time to resolve the problem.

Grassley, a long-time supporter of the 340B program to extend the Medicaid drug discount to the most vulnerable of patients at covered entities, has worked on his own and with other members to bring greater transparency and federal agency oversight to the program.  Over the past several years, he has written letters seeking information on uses of the program by both drug manufacturers and hospitals and other entities eligible for the drug discounts under the program.

The letters are available here and here.

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