PROTEST – Tues., December 22, 11a-12noon Amgen HQ, Thousand Oaks, California
Amgen joined eight other rogue drug companies by declaring last week that it will refuse to sell ‘orphan drugs’ (expensive drugs for rare diseases) at the legally required ‘340B price’ as required by section 340B of the U.S. Public Health Services Act
Refusals are tone-deaf moves by obscenely wealthy drug companies during height of coronavirus pandemic
WASHINGTON (December 21, 2020) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will host a socially distant protest and car caravan targeting Amgen for its announced refusal to sell so-called “orphan drugs’ at reduced prices to nonprofit providers who are covered entities under the 340B Drug Discount Program. The protest will take place Tuesday, December 22 from 11am to 12noon at Amgen’s corporate headquarters (1100 Rancho Conejo Blvd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320).
The U.S. government already gives special favors to drug companies to produce expensive “orphan drugs” for rare diseases that would otherwise be unaffordable.
WHAT: AMGEN PROTEST Socially distant protest and caravan over its illegal restriction of drug price discounts to 3240B Drug Discount Program participants
WHERE: Amgen’s Corporate Headquarters
1100 Rancho Conejo Blvd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Cross street: Ventu Park Rd – look for the Giant Amgen sign on the corner
WHEN: Tuesday, December 22, 2020. 11am to 12noon — (PT)
WHO: Healthcare advocates from across Southern California
CONTACTS: On site AHF contact: Jacqueline Burbank, +.323.208.1505, [email protected]
Media: Ged Kenslea, AHF Comms. Dir., +1.323.791.5526, [email protected]
Two weeks ago, Amgen joined eight other companies who have declared they will no longer offer drugs at the reduced 340B price to covered entities’ contract pharmacies as required by section 340B of the U.S. Public Health Services Act.
This announcement is a serious blow to many rural hospitals and nonprofit community health centers overwhelmed with the current COVID-19 crisis. They depend on the savings from the 340B program to keep open to stretch existing federally funded health care programs. Many of these small providers can’t afford to open and run their own pharmacies and use contract pharmacies to maximize their participation in the 340B program (see 340B Report).
“At a time when the U.S. health system is under tremendous stress from the COVID-19 pandemic, this enormously wealthy drug company has decided to make it worse. The rapacious greed of Amgen is limitless,” said John Hassell, national director of advocacy for AHF. “AHF calls on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to do its job and stop this callous drug industry attack on the U.S. healthcare safety net. Nonprofit healthcare entities depend on savings from the 340B Drug Discount Program to provide essential lifesaving services to needy under-insured patients all over the country. AHF calls on the incoming Biden administration to enforce the law and issue immediate sanctions against every drug company refusing to sell their medications at the 340B price to eligible 340B covered entities. It’s a social justice imperative for the new administration to protect the 340B Drug Discount Program.”
Over the past few years, drug companies tried and failed to use their political contributions and armies of lobbyists to convince Congress to strangle 340B, a program that costs taxpayers nothing.
“Now they are unilaterally taking the law into their own hands,” added Hassell. “Congress intentionally expanded the 340B Program with the full knowledge and explicit approval of the drug industry. In 2010, as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congress increased the number and types of nonprofit hospitals that can participate. Drug companies actively pushed for ACA because they knew that, between Medicaid expansion and the individual mandate, they would have a reliable payer source for their drugs for tens of millions of new people. Since 2010, total drug company sales have now increased by over $85 billion per year.”