HHS wants to cancel its plans to postpone imposing new ceiling prices for the 340B drug discount program.
The agency issued a proposed rulemaking on Wednesday that suggested the long-delayed rule will now be effective Jan. 1, instead of July 1, 2019, as originally announced earlier this year.
HHS has delayed the effective date of the ceiling price rule five times, which would cap the prices drugmakers can charge hospitals that participate in 340B. The American Hospital Association and several other medical trade groups sued the agency last fall to force it to publish the delayed regulations.
HHS has said in the past that it needed more time to consider additional rulemaking to replace the Obama-era regulation with one drafted by the Trump administration.
It has now changed its mind. "After further consideration of the issue, HHS proposes to cease any further delay of the rule," the agency said.
In addition, it noted that making the ceiling price rule effective Jan. 1 will not interfere with any subsequent rulemaking it may release on 340B ceiling prices.
The CMS is accepting comments through Nov. 24 on the January effective date for 340B ceiling prices.