Since its inception, the 340B Drug Pricing Program has helped ease the burden of high drug prices so hospitals can spend more on patient care and service to the community. Hospitals that depend on the 340B program share a mission: to care for people who have nowhere else to turn, including low-income working families, the uninsured, and other vulnerable patients. These hospitals also protect the community with trauma care and other lifesaving services. Meeting this mission comes at a high cost, and essential hospitals operate with the narrowest of margins. The 340B program helps these hospitals stretch their scarce resources at nearly no cost to taxpayers.
Hospitals in the 340B program take extensive steps to comply with the program’s reporting requirements. Contrary to the unfounded claims of 340B critics, essential hospitals believe strongly in program integrity and transparency. Despite their slim and often negative margins, these hospitals bear the full cost of 340B compliance—no federal funding is used.
Even with its long record of success, the 340B program still faces undue scrutiny, distorted and misleading claims, and demands for onerous new reporting. Criticism of the 340B program largely is misguided and uninformed. Creating new, complex, and burdensome requirements for hospitals that already face financial hardship is not helpful. Not only will additional reporting fail to solve the larger problem of exorbitant drug costs, it also will fail to provide broader oversight of the 340B program and drug manufacturers.