SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico’s attorney general is joining other attorney general’s around the country in asking Congress to boost federal involvement in providing prescription drugs to low-income families.

In a letter sent to Congress, the attorneys general ask for more funding and transparency for the 340B program, part of the federal Public Health Service Act. That federal program has historically helped uninsured and low-income patients access a supply of medication, but the attorneys are concerned that Congress has lost its power to oversee and control drug companies and participants involved in the program.

The letter asks Congress to give the Health Resources and Services Administration – the administrators of the 340B program – tools to enforce civil actions against non-compliant program participants and to secure the Health Resources and Services Administration’s rulemaking ability.

At the heart of the concern is the recent rise in prescription drug prices. Drug companies enter agreements to provide low-cost drugs to the program, but some attorneys general, such as North Carolina’s, say “drugmakers have flouted federal requirements by imposing potentially unlawful conditions or outright refusing to offer covered drugs to covered health care providers.”