If patients aren’t benefiting from the 340B program, who is?

Nicole Longo
Nicole Longo October 6, 2022

If patients aren’t benefiting from the 340B program, who is?.

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The 340B Drug Pricing Program was designed to help vulnerable patients improve access to their medicines through manufacturer discounts to specific safety-net, non-profit hospitals and federally funded clinics. The biopharmaceutical industry has long supported this program, but unfortunately, 340B has strayed far from its purpose, with more and more for-profit health care entities using these discounts for themselves. Do you know just how many entities financially benefit from this supposed patient safety-net?

340B Stakeholders_September 2022

Since 340B’s start in 1992, all of these entities have weaseled their way in to take advantage of the program. Recently, the New York Times delved into the inner workings of a 340B hospital, explaining how they often abuse the program to increase profits and harming vulnerable patients in the process: “The hospitals operate like for-profit companies, fixating on revenue targets and expansions into affluent suburbs.” Sadly, the article shows just one example of the countless hospitals abusing a program originally created to be a safety-net for disadvantaged patients. That’s why the industry continues to call on policymakers to fix 340B to get it back on track and working for patients. Fixing 340B means making sure the right hospitals and clinics are participating and sharing the discounts more directly with patients.

While the New York Times dove into the role hospitals play, yet another new study focused on the role that contract pharmacies play, finding that they are not benefiting patients. IQVIA analyzed contract pharmacy claims for brand medicines and concluded that most patients received “zero or close to zero” in discounts even though the medicines were purchased through the 340B program at a steep discount. Of the contract pharmacy claims analyzed in this study, 98.6% of the time covered entities took no clear steps to ensure patients benefited.

When taking a holistic look at our health care system and areas that are impacting patient spending, the 340B program cannot be overlooked. Learn more at PhRMA.org/340B and read the full IQVIA white paper here.

Topics: 340B