On June 17, 2015, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) published a long-awaited proposed rule setting forth revisions to the current regulations governing the 340B Drug Discount Program (340B Program) as set forth in 42 C.F.R. part 10 (Proposed Rule). Comments to the Proposed Rule are due August 17, 2015.
Pharmaceutical & Device Compliance
The pharmaceutical and medical device industries are increasingly subject to intense government scrutiny. Arent Fox helps these companies navigate the rough waters by providing fraud and abuse risk assessments related to the sales and marketing of prescription drugs and medical devices under both federal and state fraud and abuse laws, as well as compliance program development, monitoring, auditing, and training tailored for the drug and device arena. We assist with “Sunshine Act” compliance, both under the federal Physician Sunshine Act and under state laws mandating reporting of advertising and marketing costs. We counsel companies related to all forms of patient assistance programs, including free goods, charities, and manufacturer-sponsored “coupon” or co-payment assistance programs. We also track state law developments relating to price reporting, registering of clinical trials and reporting of trial results, limitations on prescription data-mining and licensing or other oversight of field sales representations.
On May 20, 2015, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that pharmacy benefits manager Medco Health Solutions Inc. (Medco) agreed to pay the government $7.9 million to resolve allegations that Medco’s arrangements with pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca violated the False Claims Act. Medco’s parent company, Express Scripts Holding Company, executed the settlement agreement on Medco’s behalf (the Settlement Agreement). AstraZenca entered into a similar settlement in February 2015, also for $7.9 million.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers could face a new line of attack related to Hatch-Waxman reverse payment settlement agreements (so-called, "pay-for-delay" settlements). The FTC has challenged these agreements under the antitrust laws for over a decade, and the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in FTC v. Actavis arguably created greater ambiguity for antitrust compliance. But newly unsealed federal litigation threatens to introduce even greater risk.
On January 5, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) posted Advisory Opinion No. 14-11 (Advisory Opinion) addressing a charitable foundation’s request to provide cost-sharing assistance to financially needy patients diagnosed with either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, some of whom may be federal health care program beneficiaries.
On July 28, 2014, the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a favorable opinion concerning a drug manufacturer’s program to offer a certain branded drug via an online, mail order pharmacy directly to cash-paying customers at a discounted price.
ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP
Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.