December 23, 2010—President Obama signed a temporary spending bill for the federal government yesterday that continues funding for the Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) at its fiscal 2010 level of $2.2 million through early March.
OPA has warned that it will not implement a new 340B dispute resolution process or another to impose civil monetary penalties on drug manufacturers that knowingly overcharge 340B providers if it does not get additional funding.
OPA began the rulemaking process for those two provisions because Congress gave it deadlines to do so in health care reform. If no additional money to implement reform is coming from Congress, it is unclear when or even if the office will begin drafting other 340B-related rules pursuant to the Affordable Care Act.
Also, Congress ended its 111th session yesterday without acting on proposed legislation that would have authorized a limited expansion of the 340B drug discount program to the inpatient setting.