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    340B contract pharmacy arrangements

    OIG forecasts increased accountability for dispensing, pricing of drugs

    Ned MilenkovichNed MilenkovichUnder the 340B Drug Pricing Program, pharmacies are permitted to dispense discounted drugs purchased by covered entities from Medicaid-participating drug manufacturers. As covered entities increase use of contract pharmacies for dissemination of these drugs, accountability for distribution of the discounted drugs, pricing of these medications, and compliance with federal mandates will continue to escalate and to require ongoing attention and oversight. At a minimum, failure to provide accountability for dissemination of 340B drugs will jeopardize the continuation of the noncompliant pharmacy’s 340B contract.

    The first report

    While the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continues its 2014 investigation into the 340B drug discount program, the first report of its findings, published in February, signals that contract pharmacies will be subject to increased regulation and scrutiny.

    After review of 30 covered entities — an even split between community health centers and disproportionate-share hospitals — the report showed an inconsistency in identification of 340B eligible prescriptions, as well as either duplicative discounts awarded to Medicaid beneficiaries without any process in place that would identify improper multiple discounts, or in contrast, a complete failure to offer the 340B pricing to uninsured patients.

    The report also described an unwillingness or inability to implement, maintain, and conduct all oversight activities recommended by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

    Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, JD
    This article is not intended as legal advice and should not be used as such. When legal questions arise, pharmacists should consult with ...

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