On March 24, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing entitled “Examining the 340B Drug Pricing Program.” Witness written testimony, along with the opening statements of Subcommittee Chairman Joseph R. Pitts, and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, are available at http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearing/examining-340b-drug-pricing-program.

Witnesses who testified before the Subcommittee were:  Diana Espinosa, Deputy Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Debbie Draper, Director, Health Care, Government Accountability Office; and Ann Maxwell, Assistant Inspector General for Evaluation and Inspections, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Director Draper described the status of Government Accountability Office September 2011 recommendations to improve oversight of the 340B drug pricing program. Assistant Inspector General Maxwell explained that the Office of Inspector General recommends increased transparency in both 340B ceiling prices and Medicaid claims for 340B-purchased drugs and that the lack of transparency prevents 340B providers and Medicaid from ensuring that they have paid the correct amount for 340B-purchased drugs.  In addition, the lack of transparency regarding which Medicaid claims represent 340B-purchased drugs limits States’ efforts to pay correctly and prevent duplicate discounts.  Ms. Maxwell indicated the OIG recommends that the Health Resources and Services Administration improve tools and guidance to help States and drug manufacturers identify which Medicaid claims have received the 340B discount.