Issues: 340B Program
The 340B program, intended to help vulnerable communities, has in too many cases not lived up to Congressional intent.
It has been reported in a NY Times article that some executives take advantage of lowered drug costs at hospitals in underserved communities but fail to reinvest such savings into these hospitals. This misuse of funds has exacerbated the already immense gap in healthcare equity. Allowing these abuses to continue will only encourage those that prioritize profits over the well-being of patients. Urgent reforms must be implemented to ensure the program's resources reach those in need.
Congress should take immediate steps to strengthen oversight mechanisms, enhance transparency, and hold participating hospitals accountable for their actions. A reformed 340B program should also prioritize targeted outreach and eligibility criteria, enabling healthcare based non-profit organization serving underserved areas to participate actively.
Engaging with community-based organizations and leaders over healthcare conglomerates is vital to understand the specific healthcare needs of these communities. By empowering local stakeholders and establishing partnerships with those on the frontline of community healthcare, we can ensure that the program maintains it mission and remains a beacon of hope for the most vulnerable populations.
News & Articles
DECEMBER 8, 2023, #NNPA BLACKPRESS
NNPA NEWSWIRE — Drug manufacturers are required by law to make medicines available to charity hospitals and pharmacies at a steep discount, with the idea that these healthcare centers would in turn make the medicines available to local patients for free or nearly for free (regardless of ability to pay).
The post OP-ED: Patients Over Profit Congress Can Improve 340B first appeared on BlackPressUSA.
Congressman Mike Johnson, the new Speaker of the House has an opportunity to work in a bipartisan manner with Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries and follow the lead of a group of six U.S. Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who formed a bi-partisan working group to find solutions that would provide stability and appropriate transparency to ensure the 340B program can continue to achieve its original intent of supporting entities serving eligible patients.
SEPTEMBER 14, 2023, NNPA’s Let it Be Known National Podcast
340B People over Profits featured speaker Back Women’s Health Imperative Dr. Ifeoma Udoh, Executive Vice President, Policy Advocacy and Science
JULY 13, 2023, WASHINGTON INFORMER
DR. BENAMIN CHAVEZ
All Americans should have equal access to high-quality health care. As our nation steadily emerges out of the awful debilitating aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of communities of color, and in particular the African American community, are all facing lingering challenges and prolonged difficulties in having access to affordable and quality health care.
JULY 13, 2023, BLACK PRESS USA
DR. BENAMIN CHAVEZ
The definition of a “charitable hospital” was never well-defined in law, and today 57% of all hospitals participate in the drug discount program. They are happy to accept the cheaper medicines, but where do they end up? Out of the nearly 13,000 hospitals and community pharmacies participating in the 340B program today, fully six in ten are in middle class and affluent areas, not the poorer zip codes the program is meant to serve.
JANUARY 19, 2023, AFRO
REV. AL SHARPTON
Over the past year, Democrats in Washington have begun to level the playing field between healthcare special interests like Big Pharma manufacturers and regular Americans, especially those most in need. Thanks to President Biden’s leadership and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, seniors will enjoy an annual cap on how much their prescription drugs will cost them out of pocket, and insulin costs will be limited to $35 per month.
But while we have this new law that positively impacts Black and Brown communities, we have an old law that if not properly administered by Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Health Resources and Services Administration, will ultimately negate any new gains.
"The definition of a “charitable hospital” was never well-defined in law, and today 57% of all hospitals participate in the drug discount program. They are happy to accept the cheaper medicines, but where do they end up?
Out of the nearly 13,000 hospitals and community pharmacies participating in the 340B program today, fully six in ten are in middle class and affluent areas, not the poorer zip codes the program is meant to serve."
SEPTEMBER 26, 2023
340B Coalition Virtual Roundtable Discussion (Patients First, Not Profits!) with Congressman Johnathan Jackson (D-IL) and VA Delegate Kathy Tran (D).