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Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Periodically, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) publishes abstracts of information collection requests under review by the Office of Management and Budget, in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). To request a copy of the clearance requests submitted to OMB for review, call the HRSA Reports Clearance Office on (301) 443-1129.

The following request has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995:

Proposed Project: Drug Pricing Program Reporting Requirements (OMB No. 0915-0176)—Extension—Section 602 of Public Law 102-585, the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992, enacted section 340B of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act), “Limitation on Prices of Drugs Purchased by Covered Entities.” Section 340B provides that a manufacturer who sells covered outpatient drugs to eligible entities must sign a pharmaceutical pricing agreement with the Secretary of Health and Human Services in which the manufacturer agrees to charge a price for covered outpatient drugs that will not exceed an amount determined under a statutory formula.

Covered entities which choose to participate in the section 340B drug discount program must comply with the requirements of section 340B(a)(5) of the PHS Act. Section 340B(a)(5)(A) prohibits a covered entity from accepting a discount for a drug that would also generate a Medicaid rebate. Further, section 340B(a)(5)(B) prohibits a covered entity from reselling or otherwise transferring a discounted drug to a person who is not a patient of the entity.

Because of the potential for disputes involving covered entities and participating drug manufacturers, the HRSA Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) has developed a dispute resolution process for manufacturers and covered entities as well as manufacturer guidelines for audit of covered entities.

Audit guidelines: A manufacturer will be permitted to conduct an audit only when there is reasonable cause to believe a violation of section 340B(a)(5)(A) or (B) has occurred. The manufacturer must notify the covered entity in writing when it believes the covered entity has violated the provisions of section 340B. If the problem cannot be resolved, the manufacturer must then submit an audit work plan describing the audit and evidence in support of the reasonable cause standard to the HRSA OPA for review. The office will review the documentation to determine if reasonable cause exist. Once the audit is completed, the manufacturer will submit copies of the audit report to the HRSA OPA for review and resolution of the findings, as appropriate. The manufacturer will also submit an informational copy of the audit report to the HHS Office of Inspector General.

Dispute resolution guidelines: Because of the potential for disputes involving covered entities and participating drug manufacturers, the HRSA OPA has developed a dispute resolution process which can be used if an entity or manufacturer is believed to be in violation of section 340B. Prior to filing a request for resolution of a dispute with the HRSA OPA, the parties must attempt, in good faith, to resolve the dispute. All parties involved in the dispute must maintain written documentation as evidence of a good faith attempt to resolve the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved and dispute resolution is desired, a party must submit a written request for a review of the dispute to the HRSA OPA. A committee appointed to review the documentation will send a letter to the party alleged to have committed a violation. The party will be asked to provide a response to or a rebuttal of the allegations.

To date, there have been no requests for audits, and no disputes have reached the level where a committee review was needed. As a result, the estimates of annualized hour burden for audits and disputes have been reduced to the level shown in the table below.

Reporting requirementNumber of respondentsResponses per respondentTotal responsesHours/ responseTotal burden hours
Audit Notification of Entity 121248
Audit Workplan 111188
Audit Report 111111
Entity Response00000 Start Printed Page 50998
Dispute Resolution
Mediation Request515840
1 Prepared by the manufacturer.
Recordkeeping requirementNumber of recordkeepersHours of recordkeepingTotal burden
Dispute records10.55

The total burden is 94 hours.

Written comments and recommendations concerning the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of this notice to: John Morrall, Human Resources and Housing Branch, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, Washington, D.C. 20503.

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Dated: August 15, 2000.

James J. Corrigan,

Associate Administrator for Management and Program Support.

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[FR Doc. 00-21256 Filed 8-21-00; 8:45 am]