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340B

The 340B Program enables covered entities or providers (health centers, clinics and State AIDS drug assistance programs, Medicare/Medicaid disproportionate share hospitals, children’s hospitals, PBMs and other safety net providers) to stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services. Through the program pharmaceutical manufacturers participating in Medicaid agree to provide outpatient drugs to covered entities at significantly reduced prices.

The point of the 340B Drug Discounted Federal Program is to enable covered entities/providers that serve vulnerable patients (low-income, uninsured individuals in rural communities and/or homeless population) to access outpatient medications at significantly lower costs so the savings could be passed on to the patient. Lowering these costs to the patient should help increase medication adherence, and health maintenance and outcomes.

But this program is not serving these vulnerable patients it was meant to serve in many areas. Instead, too many times the patients are cut off from the reduced medication prices and improved services. Covered entities/providers have diverted these funds to maintain unrelated programs or increase revenue. 340B should serve the patients as it was intended. Loopholes in the description of the program that allow health providers to use the funds in ways that do not directly benefit these vulnerable patients should be corrected.