The pharmaceutical industry’s latest “report” is an obvious attempt to divert attention away from a problem of their own making: skyrocketing drug prices. The fact is the 340B drug pricing program has been working as Congress intended it to by helping eligible hospitals stretch scarce federal resources and expand access to prescription drugs and comprehensive health care services to vulnerable communities across the country. Many of these important programs and services would otherwise be unavailable without the 340B program, which is funded by drug company discounts, not taxpayer dollars. An analysis earlier this year found that 340B tax-exempt hospitals provided more than $56 billion in total benefits to their communities in 2016 alone.
Many 340B hospitals treat a disproportionately high number of patients that are uninsured, underinsured or on Medicare, Medicaid or both, all while having to absorb the many costs associated with carrying out their missions. These costs include treating all patients who come through their doors, around the clock and regardless of their ability to pay. And maintaining standby capacity for traumatic events, complying with many more regulatory requirements than other sites of care and investing in the latest technology and treatments for patients.
It is time for drug companies to stop attacking others and come to the table with solutions on how to rein-in their out-of-control prices.