Amid a closely watched legal battle, Amgen (AMGN) has joined the growing ranks of major drug makers curtailing the discounts offered through a federal program for safety-net hospitals and clinics.
As of Jan. 3, 2022, the company will no longer offer discounts on certain drugs to contract pharmacies used by hospitals and clinics that serve low-income populations and purchase medicines under the 340B Drug Discount Program, according to a letter sent by Amgen. The program requires drug makers to offer discounts that are typically estimated to be 25% to 50% — but could be much higher — on all outpatient drugs.
The move comes after recent court rulings offered differing views about the legality of withholding discounts and of the approach taken by the U.S. government to force drug makers to offer discounts. As a result, there are unanswered questions about the extent to which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can insist the companies discount their medicines.
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