December 23, 2010—The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has filed a second lawsuit against a drug manufacturer for allegedly overcharging it during the first half of 2010 for 340B-discounted drugs.
The suit, filed Dec. 21 in federal district court in Los Angeles, claims that Tibotec Therapeutics, a division of Centocor Ortho Biotech Products and, in turn, of Johnson & Johnson, was late by about a half year in implementing an Affordable Care Act (ACA) increase in the Medicaid unit rebate amount that had the effect of lowering 340B ceiling prices. AHF is seeking repayment in excess of $68,000 plus interest.
The foundation filed a similar suit in late November seeking repayment of $124,000 in alleged overcharges by Bristol-Meyers Squibb. The company said it does not comment on pending litigation.
A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson referred a request for comment to Tibotec, which did not respond to the request.
Tibotec, however, told the blog Pharmalot.com that "based on guidance [that it] actively sought" from the Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA), "it appears that the company was correct in concluding that health care reform only affects [340B] pricing beginning in the third quarter of 2010." The manufacturer told the blog that it received a letter from OPA on the same day that it was sued that confirmed that AHF's October request that Tibotec provide it with additional discounts for the first half of 2010 "was inconsistent with federal law."