Case Study

Democracy Forward Foundation v. Office of Management and Budget

Exposing Former Pharma Lobbyist’s Role in Sabotaging ACA Anti-Price Gouging Rule

 

Democracy Forward filed suit against the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) demanding the agency disclose the role Joseph Grogan, a former pharma lobbyist appointed by President Trump, played in the Administration’s decision to delay an anti-price gouging rule mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The rule imposes civil monetary penalties on drug manufacturers that knowingly overcharge black lung clinics, rural health centers, childrens’ hospitals, and other public health providers who participate in the 340B drug discount program. The Administration’s delay of the rule eliminates protections to prevent pharma companies from unlawfully overcharging for life-saving drugs used by millions of Americans.

After a seven-year rulemaking process, the rule was set to take effect until the Trump Administration’s first delay on March 6, 2017—the very same week President Trump appointed Grogan to run the White House’s pharma policy.

Despite personally lobbying on issues concerning the 340B program until as late as March 2017, Grogan now leads President Trump’s “Drug Pricing and Innovation Working Group” at OMB, which has convened discussions with pharma executives on a range of topics, including, among other things, rolling back accountability provisions of the 340B drug discount program.

Instead, under Grogan’s watch, the Administration has capitulated to the interests of big pharma and proceeded to all-but run the 340B price-gouging rule into the ground. In light of these developments, we filed a Freedom of Information Act to uncover the role Grogan has played in delaying the anti-price gouging rule, and the extent to which pharma executives have influenced the Trump Administration’s policies on other critical patient protections.

When OMB failed to comply with our request, we filed suit.

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