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WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Thursday that it’s too early for hospitals to challenge the federal government’s lack of action against drug makers in the 340B drug discount program.

The decision is the latest installment in an escalating feud between hospitals and drug makers over substantial drug discounts providers get for treating low-income patients. The ruling means decision-making on the dispute will likely fall to President Biden’s nominee for HHS secretary, Xavier Becerra.

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