Advocacy Alert

Urge Your Lawmakers to Support Essential Health System Designation

Protect the Safety Net by Protecting 340B

February 28, 2024

The 340B Drug Pricing Program is a key component of the patchwork federal support essential hospitals rely on to meet their safety net mission. Congress established the 340B program to enable essential hospitals and other covered entities “to stretch scarce Federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.” With their 340B savings, essential hospitals can target resources to services and programs that meet their community’s unique challenges at nearly no cost to taxpayers:

  • A West Virginia essential hospital relies on 340B savings to support a mobile mammography unit. The 340B program makes this vital screening available to patients who might otherwise lack access to it.
  • 340B savings at an essential hospital in Illinois support an important housing initiative that provides subsidized housing and care managers for emergency department users who experience chronic homelessness.
  • An essential hospital in Pennsylvania uses 340B savings for pharmacists to help manage the care of patients with hepatitis C. Clinical pharmacists provide important education and monitoring services that improve patient access to vital medications and enhance safety and health outcomes.
  • A Florida essential hospital uses 340B savings to reduce the cost to patients of expensive prescriptions. The program reduced a patient’s monthly cost of medication to treat a malignant brain tumor from $3,000 to $21.
  • Recent events, including regulatory measures by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and illegal actions by drug companies, threaten the 340B program. Congress must act now to continue safeguarding this program.

The 340B program continues to work as Congress intended and we urge Congress and the administration to protect the program and ensure all stakeholders comply with the law.

Read Our View: Protect the Safety Net by Protecting 340B

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