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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects (section 3506(c)(2)(A) of Title 44, United States Code, as amended by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) publishes periodic summaries of proposed projects being developed for submission to OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, call the HRSA Reports Clearance Officer on (301) 443-1129.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Proposed Project: Drug Pricing Program Reporting Requirements (OMB No. 0915-0176)—Revision

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.

In response to the statutory mandate of section 340B(a)(5)(C) to develop audit guidelines and because of the potential for disputes involving covered entities and participating drug manufacturers, the HRSA Pharmacy Affairs Branch (PAB) 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 PAB 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 PAB 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 PAB has developed an informal 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 PAB, 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 PAB. 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, but two disputes have reached the level where a committee review may be 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
AUDITS
Audit Notification of Entity 121248
Audit Workplan 111188
Audit Report 111111
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Entity Response00000
DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Mediation Request2481080
Rebuttal2121632
Total81.8149.2129
1 Prepared by the manufacturer.
Recordkeeping requirementNumber of recordkeepersHours of recordkeepingTotal burden
Dispute records10.55

The total burden is 134 hours.

Send comments to Susan G. Queen, Ph.D., HRSA Reports Clearance Officer, Room 14-45, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.

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Dated: May 30, 2003.

Jane M. Harrison,

Director, Division of Policy Review and Coordination.

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[FR Doc. 03-14217 Filed 6-4-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4165-15-P