Former U.S. congressman represented drug industry during health care reform debate.
August 18, 2011—In a surprising transfer of allegiance, former U.S. Rep. Billy Tauzin, who led the nation's top drug industry group during the fight in Congress over health care reform, has joined the board of directors of 340B services company CaptureRx.
Tauzin will also serve as CaptureRx's chief industry relations officer, in which capacity he will seek to maintain "an open dialogue with drug manufacturers on compliance with the 340B program and the need to protect it," the Texas-based company said in a prepared statement.
During his tenure as chief executive of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Tauzin positioned the drug industry on the side of the Obama administration during the debate over the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The historic law brought about a major expansion of the 340B program and authorized billions of dollars for the creation and expansion of health centers—many of which participate in 340B. Health centers represent a large share of CaptureRx's clientele. Tauzin resigned from PhRMA shortly after ACA became law.
Among other services, CaptureRx offers its clients software solutions to help them maximize the benefits of participating in 340B while remaining compliant with federal guidelines and regulations governing the use of covered outpatient drugs. The company also has been active in helping 340B covered entities establish and oversee contract arrangements with retail pharmacies.
Among his achievements in Congress, Tauzin was chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the 340B, Medicaid, and Medicare programs. He also was the House floor manager of the legislation that created the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit.
In 2004, Tauzin was diagnosed with a rare form of intestinal cancer. "I was given less than a 1 percent chance of survival, but thanks to innovative drug therapies, I overcame the odds," he said. "I see my new role with CaptureRx as an opportunity to increase the access that underinsured folks have to these life-saving pharmaceuticals," said Tauzin.
"Both clients of CaptureRx, a valued corporate partner of our association, and the entire 340B community will be lifted by having someone of Mr. Tauzin's stature in our corner," said William von Oehsen, president and general counsel of Safety Net Hospitals for Pharmaceutical Access, which represents more than 700 hospitals enrolled in 340B.