A Message to State Medicaid Directors | 340B Matters
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17 Dec A Message to State Medicaid Directors

By 340B Matters

Now is the time to stand up for your state’s healthcare first responders and safety-net providers under direct assault from Big Pharma’s attacks on the 340B Drug Discount Program.

Other state leaders have risen to the occasion in the midst of the pandemic. Twenty-nine state attorneys general recently demanded that Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar stop Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Novartis, United Therapeutics, and Novo Nordisk from refusing to offer discounted 340B pricing to clinics and hospitals that contract with local pharmacies.

You can have even MORE impact.

In late November, Florida Deputy Secretary for Medicaid Beth Kidder requested the problem companies behave and copied their regional sales managers. The message is clear: She can take her business elsewhere. Pharmaceutical companies depend heavily on the inclusion of their products in state Medicaid drug formularies. Participation in the federal 340B program is their price of admission.

You hold unique market leverage to bring the offending drug companies in line. Kidder’s message amplified by 49 more state Medicaid directors would stop the drug companies cold.  Nothing matters more to manufacturers than the bottom line. The Medicaid program spent $29 billion on outpatient medications alone in 2017.  No pharma CEO wants to give up a share of that fortune.

It isn’t difficult to find new suppliers for your formularies. Therapeutically equivalent drugs abound. AstraZeneca’s cholesterol medication Crestor can be supplanted by Pfizer’s Lipitor, Eli Lilly’s anti-depression medication Prozac dropped for Pfizer’s Zoloft, AstraZeneca’s diabetes medication Farxiga scratched for Janssen’s Invokana and Novartis’ pulmonary drug Seebri nixed for Glaxo Smith Klein’s Incruse Ellipta. And so on.

The 340B program helps safety-net healthcare providers care for underserved and uninsured patients across your state every day. It is essential to the health of your citizens – especially during a pandemic.

Please act now to defend it.


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