340B and Drug Pricing

Sharply rising drug costs are unsustainable for patients, hospitals, and taxpayers, and underscore the urgent need for programs that protect patient access to lifesaving medications and treatment. The 30-year-old 340B Drug Pricing Program meets that need with nearly no cost to taxpayers.

Through manufacturer discounts rather than federal funding, the 340B program helps hospitals stretch scarce resources as they meet their commitment to care for vulnerable people. Consistent with the law and congressional intent, hospitals purchase pharmaceuticals at a discount and use the savings to deliver essential care services to the uninsured and other disadvantaged patients, both within the hospital and in the community. The 340B program is a key component of the nation’s health care safety net.

America’s Essential Hospitals, which supports transparency for and appropriate federal oversight of 340B, works to defend the program against attempts to scale back its use or limit how hospitals may use savings to benefit vulnerable patients.

The association has successfully turned back attempts by pharmaceutical manufacturers and others to reduce access to the program, including through proposed “mega-guidance” that would have dramatically narrowed eligibility for patients and hospitals. In January 2017, largely due to advocacy by essential hospitals since 2015, the Trump administration halted the mega-guidance.

The association remains wary of new attempts to restrict 340B and will remain vigilant and actively protect this program for essential hospitals and vulnerable patients.