Hospital and pharmacist advocates for safety-net health care and affordable prescription drugs are united in their firm opposition to a misguided effort by the drug industry and some community health centers that would restrict access to the 340B drug pricing program.
The groups – 340B Health, the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), America's Essential Hospitals (AEH), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Catholic Health Association of the United States, and the Children's Hospital Association – today voiced their opposition to a campaign by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), and other groups to make legislative cuts to the 340B program. The proposed changes would cause massive harm for patients who rely on hospitals that use 340B savings to provide crucial care, services, and programs to their communities.
The PhRMA-led group, deceptively branded as an effort to save 340B, proposes to remove many hospitals from the program and significantly narrow its scope of eligible drugs and patients. The proposal would only save drug company profits by reducing their already modest financial contribution to the health care safety net.
Hospitals are critical components of the health care safety net, and they work with community health care providers to deliver a wide range of care to patients in need. Without access to 340B discounts, it will be more difficult for patients to receive the same level of care from their community health providers. These include patients whose health conditions have advanced to the point of requiring the specialized, complex care only hospitals can provide. Because 340B cuts would leave fewer hospital resources to help pay for uncompensated and unreimbursed care, this proposal would be especially harmful to patients who are uninsured, underinsured, and dependent on public health programs, such as Medicaid.
This effort is the latest development in a multiyear campaign by the drug industry to cut 340B eligibility and walk away from its commitment to support patients in need. Twenty-one drug companies already have imposed harmful restrictions on access to 340B drugs through community and specialty pharmacies, and the new proposal would limit patients’ access to discounted drugs even more.
340B Health, AHA, ASHP, AEH, AAMC, the Catholic Health Association, and the Children’s Hospital Association will continue fighting back against these drug company attacks on a proven and effective health care program for patients and communities in need.