‘Dear HHS: Pharma must comply with 340B,’ says 180 members of Congress

Rep. Abigail Spanberger released Monday a letter sent to the Biden administration defending the 340B Drug Pricing Program. 

The letter, which was cosigned by a bipartisan group of 180 members of Congress, called on the Department of Health and Human Services to punish pharmaceutical companies that refuse to comply with their 340B obligations. 

The 340B program requires drug manufacturers to give health care providers that serve low-income and rural population discounts on their drugs. In exchange for its participation, the government will make sure that Medicaid covers the manufacturer’s drugs. 

Many organizations serving people living with HIV participate in this program. The organization provide the medication at the standard price, but pays the manufacturer the discounted price. They use the difference to help cover the costs of drugs for people who cannot afford them. They also use the money for other important services, like transportation to and from appointments and community outreach. 

The 340B program is a vital part of ensuring that those of us living with HIV can get the treatment and care we need to live long and healthy lives — and when possible to reach an undetectable viral load so we cannot pass the virus on to anyone else. 

This arrangement has worked for nearly three decades. 

But in the last few years, 17 pharmaceutical companies have stopped honoring their end of the bargain, increasing the cost of those drugs and decreasing the funding that supports critical wrap-around services. 

AIDS United supports Spanberger’s letter, and joins in the bipartisan call for HHS to enforce the law.