The federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is expected to release new rules governing its section 340B prescription drug discount pricing program in the near future.

The new rules have long been in development and were in the verge of being published late last year when the agency decided to try another approach to addressing some of the program’s problems, but now, new draft guidelines are being reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in anticipation of being published soon in the Federal Register.

law booksThe 340B program, which provides discounts on prescription drugs to hospitals and others that serve large numbers of low-income patients, has encountered controversy in recent years with providers complaining about the lack of transparency in drug manufacturers’ prices and the manufacturers claiming that the program’s benefits are being extended to some patients who do not qualify for the assistance.

The 340B program is a vital resource for most private safety-net hospitals.

To learn more about the program and what might be expected when the new rules are proposed, see this CQ HealthBeat article presented by the Commonwealth Fund.