The AHA today expressed support for the Closing Loopholes for Orphan Drugs Act, H.R. 4538, bipartisan legislation that would limit the “orphan drug” exclusion for 340B Drug Pricing Program rural and cancer hospitals. Specifically, the legislation would allow 340B critical access hospitals, sole community providers, rural referral centers and free-standing cancer hospitals to purchase orphan drugs at discounted rates through the 340B program as long as the orphan drug is used to treat illnesses or conditions other than the rare illnesses or conditions for which the orphan drug designation was originally given. “In an era of ever increasing prescription drug costs, this bill is an important step to ensure 340B hospitals subject to the orphan drug exclusion can obtain lifesaving drugs at a much needed discount so they can stretch limited resources to better serve their communities,” AHA wrote in a letter of support to Reps. Peter Welch, D-V.T., and David McKinley, R-W.Va., the bill’s sponsors.

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