Republican House Energy and Commerce committee chairmen Greg Walden (R-OR), Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Gregg Harper (R-MS) sent inquiries to nine pharmacies asking about 340B contract pharmacy practices. In the letters, the chairmen characterized the growth in the number of contract pharmacies as having exploded and emphasized concern about inadequate oversight of contract pharmacy arrangements.

The August 1 letters include a series of detailed questions regarding contract pharmacy arrangements and structure, policies regarding distance of pharmacies from covered entities, as well as fees, data, and reporting.  The letters also inquire about prevention of drug diversion and duplicate discounts, access to drugs for low income uninsured patients, and “opinions on barriers and/or enablers to entry for a contract pharmacy agreement with a covered entity.”

The letters were sent to Accredo Health Group, Albertsons Companies, Avella Specialty Pharmacy, Cains Drug Store, CVS Health, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, Kroger Company, Walgreens, and Walmart Inc and gave recipients 2 weeks to reply.  The letters follow a June report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on contract pharmacies that was discussed at the July 13 hearing in the committee.