By letter dated April 12, drug manufacturer United Therapeutics (UT) announced additional details regarding the second phase of its restrictive contract pharmacy policy. UT initially sent letters to covered entities in November 2020 notifying them that UT would be implementing a new contract pharmacy policy in two phases. Under the first phase, UT stated that it will deny all contract pharmacy orders placed on or after November 20, 2020 unless “the contract pharmacy was utilized by the covered entity for a valid 340B purchase of a United Therapeutics Corporation covered outpatient drug during the first three full quarters of the 2020 calendar year.” Under the second phase, UT states that it will not accept 340B contract pharmacy orders placed on or after May 13, 2021 unless the covered entity agrees to submit contract pharmacy claims through the 340B ESP program. According to its website, United Therapeutics only distributes five drugs (primarily used for hypertension and pediatric cancer) in the U.S. through an already limited distribution network. The second phase applies to all UT drugs dispensed at contract pharmacies except ADCIRCA (tadalafil).
The recent letter confirms that UT is following through with its initial plan despite the multiple lawsuits and administrative dispute resolution (ADR) petitions that have been filed by covered entities against manufacturers with similar restrictive policies. 340B safety-net providers, their communities, and their patients will all undoubtedly continue to suffer as the drug companies restrict and deny 340B discounts on drugs that are shipped to contract pharmacy locations. These restrictions on 340B discounts have severely limited the resources available to the U.S. healthcare safety-net, which has crippled its ability to protect vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 public health emergency.