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Advocacy

Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs

Created in 1992, the 340B drug pricing program is essential to helping safety-net providers stretch limited resources to better serve their patients and communities. The 340B program requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to sell outpatient drugs at discounted prices to health care organizations that care for large numbers of uninsured and low-income patients, serve rural communities, and offer vital services to cancer patients and children.

340B Drug Pricing Program: Protecting Pennsylvania’s Safety Net

Particularly given the increasingly high cost of pharmaceuticals, the 340B program provides critical support to help hospitals care for vulnerable patients and build healthier communities. 340B hospitals receive discounted medications from pharmaceutical manufacturers and then are able reinvest those savings to reach more patients and provide more comprehensive services. Many hospitals that participate in the program use the savings to help patients by offering their prescription medications at significantly reduced costs, or no cost at all.

In addition to providing financial assistance to patients unable to afford their prescriptions, hospitals use the savings to:

  • Provide clinical pharmacy services, such as disease management programs or medication therapy management
  • Fund other medical services, such as obstetrics, diabetes education, oncology services and other ambulatory services
  • Establish additional outpatient clinics to improve access
  • Create new community outreach programs
  • Offer free vaccinations for vulnerable populations

Faced with heightened scrutiny and threats to payments for 340B hospitals, HAP is working to educate federal lawmakers about the value of the 340B drug pricing program, and make the case against payment cuts targeted at hospitals participating in the 340B program. Scaling back the 340B program would only benefit drug companies, while both increasing the federal deficit and negatively impacting the patients and communities who benefit from this important program.

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