December 8, 2010—In move that could end months of frustration for 340B children's hospitals, the U.S. Senate will vote later today on a must-pass Medicare bill with a provision that would allow the hospitals to buy so-called orphan drugs at 340B discount prices.
The House could vote on the bill as early as tomorrow, Dec. 9, and President Obama may sign it into law as soon as this weekend. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) issued a press release today saying it did "not oppose" the lifting of the ban.
The forthcoming Senate vote coincides with the publication of a comprehensive article about the issue in The New York Times.
Hospital groups are continuing to work to repeal the prohibition for rural providers and cancer hospitals.