The HHS is proposing to a rescind a Trump administration drug rule that required community health centers to pass on all their insulin and epinephrine discount savings to patients.
The proposal to retract the rule is under review at the White House Office of Management and Budget. Once it clears, the Department of Health and Human Services can publish it at any time.
Centers that don’t pass on the savings wouldn’t qualify for federal grants under the rule. The HHS under President Joe Biden had delayed the effective date of the rule (RIN 0906-AB25) until July 20 to give agency officials more opportunity to review the rule and ensure it wouldn’t impede the agency’s and health centers’ “immediate priority work” of responding to the pandemic.
Former HHS leaders argued the drug rule would benefit patients who struggle to pay for expensive insulin and allergy medication. However, the health centers said they already pass on those savings, and this rule was merely an administrative burden that paints them as entities that price-gouge patients.
It’s not clear how many facilities would have had to follow the rule or face funding restrictions.