340B Drug Pricing Program: Celebrating 30 Years of Supporting Patient Access to Care
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the 340B Drug Pricing Program, resulting in expanded patient access to healthcare services for underserved communities, including access to medications for uninsured and underinsured patients.
The 340B program, established in 1992, has enabled healthcare organizations to stretch limited federal resources to better serve vulnerable communities and offer needed services, including more comprehensive ambulatory pharmacy services, free care for uninsured patients, free immunizations, and medication management and community health programs. It is also one of the most significant avenues for some safety-net hospitals' ability to stay open, so they can continue to provide needed care in rural and medically underserved communities.
ASHP's Ongoing Advocacy Efforts
ASHP has long advocated for the 340B program, and it remains a key advocacy priority as we work to protect the program from recent threats from drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that jeopardize these patient services.
Last week, ASHP met with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to urge regulators to enforce manufacturer compliance requirements. ASHP also recently wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), sharing our concerns and urging regulators to take enforcement action against manufacturers that fail to provide discounted products as required by the 340B program.
ASHP commended HRSA for recently issuing warning letters to manufacturers against violating the 340B program as we work to protect the providers and patients who rely on the 340B program. In September, ASHP also asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to restore payments to 340B hospitals following the Supreme Court's ruling that HHS did not have the discretion to change Medicare reimbursement rates for 340B covered entities without gathering data on what hospitals pay for outpatient drugs.
This fall, ASHP held its annual Legislative Day, during which ASHP members and staff met with 110 congressional offices to ask that they support the 340B program and pass the Protect 340B Act. We also recently participated in a digital advertising campaign supported by ASHP, 340B Health, the American Hospital Association, America's Essential Hospitals, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Children's Hospital Association, urging federal agencies and congressional leaders to protect the 340B program.
Important Tools and Resources
ASHP has created a range of tools, resources, and information to support this critical program. Most recently, ASHP developed model legislation to assist states in pursuing legislation that prevents insurers and PBMs from trying to take 340B program funds for their own profits. We encourage our members to use this important resource to help ensure patients benefit from the program.
We also invite you to listen to our recent 340B program podcast, read AJHP's collection of 340B articles, and visit our dedicated 340B webpage highlighting the breadth of resources and updates on our advocacy efforts.
Finally, join us at this year's Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition for 340B educational programming and resources, including a daylong 340B University learning experience.
ASHP continues to remain fully committed to ensuring the 340B program is able to support our members in providing access to expanded healthcare services and affordable medications to their patients.
As always, thank you for supporting ASHP and for all that you do for your patients and our profession.
Posted on November 4, 2022