Last week we covered the basics around contract pharmacies in the 340B program. Today we’re taking a closer look at contract pharmacies as a relatively new source of growth in the program.
Contract pharmacies allow hospitals and other 340B entities to capture 340B discounts for prescriptions filled at for-profit, retail pharmacies. While these contract pharmacy arrangements were originally allowed only for entities without an in-house pharmacy, beginning in 2010 HRSA allowed an unlimited number of contract pharmacies for all 340B entities. This policy change was made without any requirement that patients benefit from the 340B discounts at the pharmacy. In fact, recent evidence from government investigators suggests that often hospitals and retail pharmacies split the profits from the 340B discounts, without patients seeing any benefits.