A group financed by the pharmaceutical industry is hosting a meeting today on the 340B Drug Pricing Program with the goal of “Preserving the True Safety Net.” But what the meeting really will be about is the pharmaceutical industry – with their skyrocketing prescription drug prices and huge profits – discussing how they can continue to disparage a program with a 25-year history of increasing access to medications and health care services for people in vulnerable communities.

Let’s look at some of the facts to determine who is trying to “Preserve the True Safety Net.”

America’s hospitals and health systems:

  • Care for all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
    • In 2014, hospitals across the U.S. provided more than $42.8 billion in uncompensated care.
    • Hospitals have provided more than $500 billion in uncompensated care since 2000.
  • Use savings from the 340B program, which provides discounts on drugs to eligible health care providers that serve large numbers of low-income and uninsured patients, to reinvest in programs that enhance patient services and access to care.
  • Use 340B savings to provide free or reduced-priced prescription drugs to poorer residents.

The 340B program represents a very small percentage of the pharmaceutical industry’s $374 billion in U.S. sales annually. However, the value that the program provides to help hospitals advance the health of vulnerable individuals and communities is tremendous. Read more at www.aha.org/protect340B.

The pharmaceutical industry:

  • Since 2008, prices for brand name drugs have increased 127 percent compared with an 11 percent rise in the consumer price index.
  • In July 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a report highlighting that prescription drug spending accelerated from 2.5 percent in 2013 to 12.6 percent in 2014.
  • Just last month, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics estimated that drug spending nationwide increased by 8.5 percent in 2015 compared to 2014, which was more than any other year in the past decade except for the double-digit spike in 2014.

What policymakers should answer is should we preserve the 340B program or make changes to it that would hurt vulnerable individuals and communities to add to pharmaceutical companies’ profits? For us, the answer is clear.

Related News Articles

Perspective
On Tuesday, the Census Bureau reported that “a third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s also…
Headline
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday released a fact sheet for state and local governments seeking Medicare, Medicaid or Children’s…
Headline
An annual report into death by several factors tied to mental health and wellbeing — otherwise referred to as “deaths of despair” — topped 150,000 in 2018. The…
Headline
State Medicaid programs are reporting an uptick in enrollment compared with their fiscal year 2020 projections, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. The…
Headline
As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Bruce Bailey, president and CEO of Tidelands Health based in Georgetown, S.C., talks about how hospitals and health…
Blog
Like all of America’s hospitals, Tidelands Health has a longstanding commitment to improving access to high-quality, affordable services. This includes…