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340B Drug Pricing Program: What You Need To Know

Posted on March 25, 2014

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Living with cancer takes a toll on anyone, but it can be especially devastating for uninsured and low-income patients. That’s why the 340B Drug Pricing Program is such an important issue. Congress created this program in 1992 to help improve access to medical services for this population. The program works by providing discounted prescription drugs to hospitals and clinics that serve high numbers of uninsured, low-income patients. Since the program’s creation, however, concerns have grown about whether the 340B program has strayed from its original purpose.

Indications show that some hospitals and clinics that benefit from the 340B program are not reinvesting that benefit in their patients. That’s where the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B comes in, jump-starting research and action to set this program back on its rightful course.

AIR 340B
We are proud to be a part of the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B. This coalition of patient advocacy groups, clinical care providers and biopharmaceutical innovators is dedicated to reforming and strengthening the 340B program. The 340B program is designed to ensure support and access to medications for uninsured poor patients.

The Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B recently completed a white paper, entitled “Unfulfilled Expectations: An Analysis of Charity Care provided by 340B Hospitals” that details how much charity care 340B hospitals are currently providing. The unsettling results of this study show that the majority of 340B hospitals are providing less charity care than the national average, which includes for-profit establishments. This is a clear indication that the cost savings provided by the 340B program to the hospitals are not being reinvested in services for indigent patients as the program intended. It is of great importance to our patient community that this program be reformed to benefit the people who really need it – patients.

As part of the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B, we won’t stop until we see the trends uncovered in this research paper struck down. Read the full paper here.

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