Hospitals, including those participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program, are the true safety-net, not the pharmaceutical industry with its “skyrocketing prescription drug prices and huge profits,” AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels writes in an AHASTAT blog post today. Nickels notes that hospitals care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay, and they have provided more than $500 billion in uncompensated care since 2000. He also highlights that hospitals participating in the 340B program use savings from the program to “provide free or reduced-priced prescription drugs to poorer residents” and “reinvest in programs that enhance patient services and access to care.” Nickels also cites various reports detailing the rapid spike in the costs of prescription drugs, including a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services report showing that prescription drug spending increased 12.6% in 2014. For more on the 340B program, visit www.aha.org/protect340B.

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