U.S Code last checked for updates: May 27, 2024
§ 256b.
Limitation on prices of drugs purchased by covered entities
(a)
Requirements for agreement with Secretary
(1)
In general
(2)
“Rebate percentage” defined
(A)
In general
For a covered outpatient drug purchased in a calendar quarter, the “rebate percentage” is the amount (expressed as a percentage) equal to—
(i)
the average total rebate required under section 1927(c) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1396r–8(c)] with respect to the drug (for a unit of the dosage form and strength involved) during the preceding calendar quarter; divided by
(ii)
the average manufacturer price for such a unit of the drug during such quarter.
(B)
Over the counter drugs
(i)
In general
(ii)
“Over the counter drug” defined
(3)
Drugs provided under State medicaid plans
(4)
“Covered entity” defined
In this section, the term “covered entity” means an entity that meets the requirements described in paragraph (5) and is one of the following:
(A)
A Federally-qualified health center (as defined in section 1905(l)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1396d(l)(2)(B)]).
(B)
An entity receiving a grant under section 256a 1
1
 See References in Text note below.
of this title.
(C)
A family planning project receiving a grant or contract under section 300 of this title.
(D)
An entity receiving a grant under subpart II 1 of part C of subchapter XXIV (relating to categorical grants for outpatient early intervention services for HIV disease).
(E)
A State-operated AIDS drug purchasing assistance program receiving financial assistance under subchapter XXIV.
(F)
A black lung clinic receiving funds under section 937(a) of title 30.
(G)
A comprehensive hemophilia diagnostic treatment center receiving a grant under section 501(a)(2) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 701(a)(2)].
(H)
A Native Hawaiian Health Center receiving funds under the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act of 1988.
(I)
An urban Indian organization receiving funds under title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act [25 U.S.C. 1651 et seq.].
(J)
Any entity receiving assistance under subchapter XXIV (other than a State or unit of local government or an entity described in subparagraph (D)), but only if the entity is certified by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (7).
(K)
An entity receiving funds under section 247c of this title (relating to treatment of sexually transmitted diseases) or section 247b(j)(2) 1 of this title (relating to treatment of tuberculosis) through a State or unit of local government, but only if the entity is certified by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (7).
(L)
A subsection (d) hospital (as defined in section 1886(d)(1)(B) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d)(1)(B)]) that—
(i)
is owned or operated by a unit of State or local government, is a public or private non-profit corporation which is formally granted governmental powers by a unit of State or local government, or is a private non-profit hospital which has a contract with a State or local government to provide health care services to low income individuals who are not entitled to benefits under title XVIII of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.] or eligible for assistance under the State plan under this subchapter;
(ii)
for the most recent cost reporting period that ended before the calendar quarter involved, had a disproportionate share adjustment percentage (as determined under section 1886(d)(5)(F) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d)(5)(F)]) greater than 11.75 percent or was described in section 1886(d)(5)(F)(i)(II) of such Act [42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d)(5)(F)(i)(II)]; and
(iii)
does not obtain covered outpatient drugs through a group purchasing organization or other group purchasing arrangement.
(M)
A children’s hospital excluded from the Medicare prospective payment system pursuant to section 1886(d)(1)(B)(iii) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d)(1)(B)(iii)], or a free-standing cancer hospital excluded from the Medicare prospective payment system pursuant to section 1886(d)(1)(B)(v) of the Social Security Act, that would meet the requirements of subparagraph (L), including the disproportionate share adjustment percentage requirement under clause (ii) of such subparagraph, if the hospital were a subsection (d) hospital as defined by section 1886(d)(1)(B) of the Social Security Act.
(N)
An entity that is a critical access hospital (as determined under section 1820(c)(2) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1395i–4(c)(2)]), and that meets the requirements of subparagraph (L)(i).
(O)
An entity that is a rural referral center, as defined by section 1886(d)(5)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d)(5)(C)(i)], or a sole community hospital, as defined by section 1886(d)(5)(C)(iii) of such Act, and that both meets the requirements of subparagraph (L)(i) and has a disproportionate share adjustment percentage equal to or greater than 8 percent.
(5)
Requirements for covered entities
(A)
Prohibiting duplicate discounts or rebates
(i)
In general
(ii)
(B)
Prohibiting resale of drugs
(C)
Auditing
(D)
Additional sanction for noncompliance
(6)
Treatment of distinct units of hospitals
(7)
Certification of certain covered entities
(A)
Development of process
(B)
Inclusion of purchase information
(C)
Criteria
(D)
List of purchasers and dispensers
(E)
Recertification
(8)
Development of prime vendor program
(9)
Notice to manufacturers
(10)
No prohibition on larger discount
(b)
Other definitions
(1)
In general
(2)
Covered drug
In this section, the term “covered drug”—
(A)
means a covered outpatient drug (as defined in section 1927(k)(2) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1396r–8(k)(2)]); and
(B)
includes, notwithstanding paragraph (3)(A) of section 1927(k) of such Act [42 U.S.C. 1396r–8(k)(3)(A)], a drug used in connection with an inpatient or outpatient service provided by a hospital described in subparagraph (L), (M), (N), or (O) of subsection (a)(4) that is enrolled to participate in the drug discount program under this section.
(c)
Repealed. Pub. L. 111–152, title II, § 2302(2), Mar. 30, 2010, 124 Stat. 1083
(d)
Improvements in program integrity
(1)
Manufacturer compliance
(A)
In general
(B)
Improvements
The improvements described in subparagraph (A) shall include the following:
(i)
The development of a system to enable the Secretary to verify the accuracy of ceiling prices calculated by manufacturers under subsection (a)(1) and charged to covered entities, which shall include the following:
(I)
Developing and publishing through an appropriate policy or regulatory issuance, precisely defined standards and methodology for the calculation of ceiling prices under such subsection.
(II)
Comparing regularly the ceiling prices calculated by the Secretary with the quarterly pricing data that is reported by manufacturers to the Secretary.
(III)
Performing spot checks of sales transactions by covered entities.
(IV)
Inquiring into the cause of any pricing discrepancies that may be identified and either taking, or requiring manufacturers to take, such corrective action as is appropriate in response to such price discrepancies.
(ii)
The establishment of procedures for manufacturers to issue refunds to covered entities in the event that there is an overcharge by the manufacturers, including the following:
(I)
Providing the Secretary with an explanation of why and how the overcharge occurred, how the refunds will be calculated, and to whom the refunds will be issued.
(II)
Oversight by the Secretary to ensure that the refunds are issued accurately and within a reasonable period of time, both in routine instances of retroactive adjustment to relevant pricing data and exceptional circumstances such as erroneous or intentional overcharging for covered outpatient drugs.
(iii)
The provision of access through the Internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services to the applicable ceiling prices for covered outpatient drugs as calculated and verified by the Secretary in accordance with this section, in a manner (such as through the use of password protection) that limits such access to covered entities and adequately assures security and protection of privileged pricing data from unauthorized re-disclosure.
(iv)
The development of a mechanism by which—
(I)
rebates and other discounts provided by manufacturers to other purchasers subsequent to the sale of covered outpatient drugs to covered entities are reported to the Secretary; and
(II)
appropriate credits and refunds are issued to covered entities if such discounts or rebates have the effect of lowering the applicable ceiling price for the relevant quarter for the drugs involved.
(v)
Selective auditing of manufacturers and wholesalers to ensure the integrity of the drug discount program under this section.
(vi)
The imposition of sanctions in the form of civil monetary penalties, which—
(I)
shall be assessed according to standards established in regulations to be promulgated by the Secretary not later than 180 days after March 23, 2010;
(II)
shall not exceed $5,000 for each instance of overcharging a covered entity that may have occurred; and
(III)
shall apply to any manufacturer with an agreement under this section that knowingly and intentionally charges a covered entity a price for purchase of a drug that exceeds the maximum applicable price under subsection (a)(1).
(2)
Covered entity compliance
(A)
In general
(B)
Improvements
The improvements described in subparagraph (A) shall include the following:
(i)
The development of procedures to enable and require covered entities to regularly update (at least annually) the information on the Internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services relating to this section.
(ii)
The development of a system for the Secretary to verify the accuracy of information regarding covered entities that is listed on the website described in clause (i).
(iii)
The development of more detailed guidance describing methodologies and options available to covered entities for billing covered outpatient drugs to State Medicaid agencies in a manner that avoids duplicate discounts pursuant to subsection (a)(5)(A).
(iv)
The establishment of a single, universal, and standardized identification system by which each covered entity site can be identified by manufacturers, distributors, covered entities, and the Secretary for purposes of facilitating the ordering, purchasing, and delivery of covered outpatient drugs under this section, including the processing of chargebacks for such drugs.
(v)
The imposition of sanctions, in appropriate cases as determined by the Secretary, additional to those to which covered entities are subject under subsection (a)(5)(D), through one or more of the following actions:
(I)
Where a covered entity knowingly and intentionally violates subsection (a)(5)(B), the covered entity shall be required to pay a monetary penalty to a manufacturer or manufacturers in the form of interest on sums for which the covered entity is found liable under subsection (a)(5)(D), such interest to be compounded monthly and equal to the current short term interest rate as determined by the Federal Reserve for the time period for which the covered entity is liable.
(II)
Where the Secretary determines a violation of subsection (a)(5)(B) was systematic and egregious as well as knowing and intentional, removing the covered entity from the drug discount program under this section and disqualifying the entity from re-entry into such program for a reasonable period of time to be determined by the Secretary.
(III)
Referring matters to appropriate Federal authorities within the Food and Drug Administration, the Office of Inspector General of Department of Health and Human Services, or other Federal agencies for consideration of appropriate action under other Federal statutes, such as the Prescription Drug Marketing Act (21 U.S.C. 353).1
(3)
Administrative dispute resolution process
(A)
In general
(B)
Deadlines and procedures
Regulations promulgated by the Secretary under subparagraph (A) shall—
(i)
designate or establish a decision-making official or decision-making body within the Department of Health and Human Services to be responsible for reviewing and finally resolving claims by covered entities that they have been charged prices for covered outpatient drugs in excess of the ceiling price described in subsection (a)(1), and claims by manufacturers that violations of subsection (a)(5)(A) or (a)(5)(B) have occurred;
(ii)
establish such deadlines and procedures as may be necessary to ensure that claims shall be resolved fairly, efficiently, and expeditiously;
(iii)
establish procedures by which a covered entity may discover and obtain such information and documents from manufacturers and third parties as may be relevant to demonstrate the merits of a claim that charges for a manufacturer’s product have exceeded the applicable ceiling price under this section, and may submit such documents and information to the administrative official or body responsible for adjudicating such claim;
(iv)
require that a manufacturer conduct an audit of a covered entity pursuant to subsection (a)(5)(C) as a prerequisite to initiating administrative dispute resolution proceedings against a covered entity;
(v)
permit the official or body designated under clause (i), at the request of a manufacturer or manufacturers, to consolidate claims brought by more than one manufacturer against the same covered entity where, in the judgment of such official or body, consolidation is appropriate and consistent with the goals of fairness and economy of resources; and
(vi)
include provisions and procedures to permit multiple covered entities to jointly assert claims of overcharges by the same manufacturer for the same drug or drugs in one administrative proceeding, and permit such claims to be asserted on behalf of covered entities by associations or organizations representing the interests of such covered entities and of which the covered entities are members.
(C)
Finality of administrative resolution
(4)
Authorization of appropriations
(e)
Exclusion of orphan drugs for certain covered entities
(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title III, § 340B, as added Pub. L. 102–585, title VI, § 602(a), Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 4967; amended Pub. L. 103–43, title XX, § 2008(i)(1)(A), June 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 212; Pub. L. 111–148, title II, § 2501(f)(1), title VII, §§ 7101(a)–(d), 7102, Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 309, 821–823; Pub. L. 111–152, title II, § 2302, Mar. 30, 2010, 124 Stat. 1082; Pub. L. 111–309, title II, § 204(a)(1), Dec. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 3289.)
cite as: 42 USC 256b