Health Care

HHS kills Trump-era 340B rule targeting community health clinics

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The Health Resources and Services Administration has formally rescinded a proposed rule targeting community health clinics participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.The regulation, which President Donald Trump’s administration proposed last year, would have required community health centers pass on the 340B discounts they get for insulin and Epi-Pens directly to patients.

HRSA is pulling the regulation because of the “excessive administrative costs and burdens that implementation would have imposed on health centers,” the agency wrote in a notice published in the Federal Register Thursday.

The rule would have required health centers create new practices to determine what patients were eligible to receive insulin or Epi-Pens at reduced prices. If the policy were to took effect, it would have “resulted in reduced resources available to support critical services to health center patients,” HRSA wrote.

Under the 340B program, community health clinics are eligible for deep discounts on prescription drugs and are legally required to reinvest the savings into community services.

Hospitals serving large numbers of low-income patients are also eligible for 340B and more have joined the program in recent years.

Republican lawmakers and pharmaceutical companies have expressed concern about the program’s growth, arguing there is not enough transparency about how hospitals use the savings. Hospitals don’t have the same legal requirement to direct the savings to community needs that health centers have.

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