July 17, 2017—As a House Energy & Commerce subcommittee prepares for an oversight hearing on the 340B drug discount program tomorrow, the head of the group that represents 340B hospitals is urging lawmakers to “protect this program so it continues to help hospitals serve their low-income and rural patients for years to come.”
“The 340B program is more than a line item on a spreadsheet, and is more important than ever,” writes 340B Health President and Chief Executive Officer Ted Slafsky in a commentary for the Capitol Hill news organization The Hill. “It allows hospitals serving our most vulnerable populations to ensure that patients entering their doors have access to the comprehensive treatments needed to address their healthcare condition.”
Slafsky points to new research showing:
- the 340B program cannot plausibly be a major driver of changes in overall U.S. drug expenditures, or a major cause of cost shifting by drug manufacturers to make up for the discounts provided under the program
- without their 340B contract pharmacy benefit, hospitals would face difficulties maintaining the same level of care for patients in need, particularly Medicaid patients, rural populations, and patients who suffer from chronic and life-threatening conditions.
You can read the complete op-ed entitled “A drug discount program that punches above its weight” here.