Big Pharma Caught Upcharging Rural, Conservative Communities for Prescription Drugs

Once again, I must point out that the largest companies in America regularly break the law without being punished by our government. We now have to return to our friends, the Pharmaceutical companies, which are having to refund rural and working-class Americans for overcharging them for medication.

It is not surprising that pharmaceutical companies will do anything to avoid providing discounts on drugs as required by federal law.

The MSM is a good example of this. I will connect the dots to show the latest attempt by Big Pharma to increase profits and not offer discounts to rural patients on life-saving medications.

Drug companies have been restricting discounts for disadvantaged communities since 2020. AstraZeneca has been a repeat offender in this area.

AstraZeneca’s actions are not the only ones to crack down on the 340B program. According to reports, Eli Lilly and Sanofi have implemented similar restrictions and initiatives. In the month of August, seven hospital and pharmacist groups requested (PDF) that Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, enforce the 340B regulations following the new moves by the companies.

Last week’s protest followed a lawsuit (PDF) filed by Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access against HHS calling on the agency to force AZ, Eli Lilly, Novartis, and Sanofi to comply with 340B requirements. The group alleges the companies “flouted the 340B statute and regulation by openly refusing to sell 340B discounted drugs to covered entities when ordered via contract pharmacy arrangements.”

AstraZeneca’s spokesman stated via email that the company was “strongly committed” to the 340B Program. “Our products have been available to all covered entities for or below the applicable statutory price ceilings,” he added.

What they’re doing, of course, not only hurts patients in disadvantaged communities that rely on these medications; it’s also against the law.

Once again, pharmaceutical companies have been punished for violating the rules, yet there are no signs that the government will do anything to prevent it from happening in the future.

Some newsrooms may not consider it newsworthy when a pharmaceutical firm does what is required by law. However, I find it newsworthy that the companies overcharged to such an extent and now have to refund customers while trying to eliminate the program which requires them to provide discounts.

It is also convenient that the issue, which is a major concern for people living in red areas and not on the Acela Corridor, gets so little coverage.