AHA Feb. 29 filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a Louisiana law that prohibits drug companies from denying Louisiana hospitals the same 340B discounts for drugs dispensed at community pharmacies that would be provided via in-house pharmacies, its latest in a string of lawsuits claiming the federal law that created the 340B program preempts the state law. 

AbbVie, “like their fellow drug company AstraZeneca and the trade association representing their confederates, want to have their cake and eat it too,” AHA wrote. “AbbVie recognizes, as it must, that the 340B statute is silent as to contract pharmacy arrangements. But without citing any evidence (textual or otherwise) that Congress affirmatively intended to prevent states from addressing that issue, AbbVie insists that Congress’s silence has broad preemptive effect. The Court should reject that argument, which, at risk of mixing confectionary metaphors, is nothing more than an attempt by multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical companies to tell struggling healthcare providers and their poorest patients to ‘let them eat cake.’”

The Louisiana Hospital Association, Rural Hospital Coalition and 340B Health joined AHA in the brief.

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