A group of six Congressional Republicans sent a letter to HHS's Health Resources and Services Administration seeking details on the agency's audits of the eligibility of healthcare entities for the 340B drug discount program. The program requires manufacturers to give deep discounts on outpatient drugs to hospitals and clinics that bear the brunt of providing healthcare to low income and other special populations.
HRSA began the audits in FY12 after a 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office said HRSA's oversight of the 340B program was "inadequate to provide reasonable assurance that covered entities and drug manufacturers are in compliance" with the program's requirements. According to the letter, during 2012 HRSA decertified about 250 entities from the 340B program. The agency said it recertified more than 3,800 entities during the same time period.
The lawmakers are seeking information on audits that HRSA is currently conducting. The lawmakers also are seeking information on the decertified entities, including whether the agency plans to take legal action or recoup any ineligible 340B discounts.
The letter was sent by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), as well as Reps. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). The lawmakers asked for a written response by Feb. 14. HRSA said it is working on a response.