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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

AG Donovan Joins Coalition in Defending Affordable Drug Prices

May 18, 2022

Attorney General T.J. Donovan joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general earlier this week in filing two amicus briefs defending efforts to ensure that community health centers, clinics, and institutions serving low-income and underserved patient populations have access to discounted prescription drugs.

The briefs, filed Monday, defend the actions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in cases filed by Sanofi SA, Novartis Pharmaceutics, United Therapeutics Corp and NovoNordisk. The pharmaceutical giants have refused to comply with the federal 340B Program, which requires discounted drug pricing for community health centers, clinics, and institutions serving low-income and underserved patient populations. The 340B Drug Pricing Program was adopted by Congress in 1992 and has strong bipartisan support.

The drug companies challenged orders issued by HHS that say the companies violated the law. The bipartisan, multistate coalition argues in their amicus briefs that HHS’ actions were lawful and necessary: “For nearly two years…drug manufacturers participating in the 340B Program have flouted their statutory obligation to offer safety-net providers with 340B-discounted prices on critical prescription drugs. These drug manufacturers have either limited 340B covered entities to using a single retail community pharmacy (contract pharmacy) or conditioned the use of multiple contract pharmacies on intrusive audits of healthcare providers’ confidential, proprietary claims data. But permitting manufacturers to unilaterally change the 340B Program is in direct contravention of the statute and policies long pursued by Congress and advanced by the States.”

The coalition previously urged HHS to hold drug companies accountable for their unlawful actions imperiling access to affordable prescriptions for low-income patients.

Attorney General Donovan was joined in the briefs by the attorneys general of Arkansas, Connecticut, Colorado, District of Columbia, Delaware, Illinois, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Utah.

Copies of the briefs are available here.

 

Contact: Lauren Jandl, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171

Last modified: May 18, 2022