For more than 25 years, the 340B Drug Pricing Program has been a shield against soaring drug prices and a vital source of support for hospitals that care for vulnerable people. But the drug industry—which, alone, sets the price of drugs—has tried to blame 340B for high prices. It’s a baseless claim designed to distract from the real problem: manufacturer pricing practices. In fact, 340B discounts represent only about 1 percent of total U.S. drug spending.
Congress’ intent was clear when it created the 340B program: that manufacturer discounts under the program help hospitals “stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.” At nearly no cost to taxpayers, the 340B program ensures access to affordable medications and many services for low-income, working people and others who face financial hardships. These people depend on the hospitals that rely on 340B savings to meet this safety-net mission.
We ask Congress to leave the 340B program out of the drug pricing debate. Drug manufacturers will encourage lawmakers to restrict the 340B program by making false claims about the program’s impact on overall drug pricing. Don’t take the bait: drug manufacturers can live with the 340B program—our patients and your constituents cannot.