The Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B (AIR-340B), an advocacy group funded by the pharmaceutical industry and oncologists, has told Congress how to scale back the 340B Program.
The group delivered a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate committees that have jurisdiction over the program demanding increased oversight of, and legislative changes to, the 340B Program. The letter, which is hosted on the AIR-340B web site, is signed by multiple physician and patient advocacy groups that are allied with AIR-340B, several of whom have not previously been engaged on 340B.
The signers are as follows: Alliance for Patient Access, Colon Cancer Alliance, Log Cabin Republicans, National Center for Policy Analysis, National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association, RetireSafe, The AIDS Institute, The Galen Institute, and The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA). The letter is a watershed moment in PhRMA’s seven-year build up to 340B reform, as it represents the first public demand for specific legislative action. If AIR-340B is successful in its advocacy efforts, the changes they seek would have a significant impact on your Ryan White clinics. The changes would also erode support for the program, leaving it vulnerable to eradication in the future.
We are most troubled by two statements in the letter:
AIR-340B also hosted a congressional briefing along with Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) this morning in which the group made similar points about the intent of the 340B Program and the need for limitations on contract pharmacies. In addition, PhRMA suggested at the meeting that the Trump administration should re-issue the 340B Mega-Guidance, which was withdrawn earlier this year. Many covered entities, including Ryan White clinics, expressed concern that the proposed Mega-Guidance would result in restrictions on the 340B Program that were inconsistent with its statutory purpose. If PhRMA is interested in resuscitating it, the group must believe it can get a favorable product. The briefing was attended approximately 25 congressional staffers. Click here to view a handout distributed to attendees of the meeting.