340B Program Expansion
Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) have introduced AHA-supported legislation that would extend the 340B drug discount program to the inpatient setting. The program currently applies only to outpatient prescriptions. Among other provisions, the 340B Improvement Act (H.R. 2674) would extend 340B prices to "orphan drugs" used by eligible rural and free-standing cancer hospitals to treat rare diseases and conditions; allow eligible rural and children's hospitals to use the 340B discounts in clinics located more than 35 miles from the main hospital; and prohibit states from collecting National Drug Codes for 340B drugs from hospitals in the program.
The AHA supports extending the 340B discounts to the purchases of drugs used during inpatient hospital stays for safety-net hospitals. The AHA also supports extending the 340B drug program discounts to critical access hospitals (CAHs), sole community hospitals (SCHs), rural referral centers (RRCs) and Medicare-dependent hospitals for inpatient stays. AHA also supports allowing Medicare Dependent Hospitals access to the program. Importantly, this legislation also repeals the orphan drug exclusion and would allow rural and free-standing cancer hospitals access to discounted pharmaceuticals through the 340B program.