December 8, 2016

Drugmakers Want Tough Scrutiny of 340B Discount Program

Bloomberg posted an article titled, “Drugmakers Want Tough Scrutiny of 340B Discount Program.” The article reads in part as follows;

“A federal drug discount program for safety-net providers is experiencing rapid growth and deserves tough scrutiny, a group linked to drugmakers said Dec. 6.

The group, AIR 340B, said in a report the federal 340B drug pricing program is expected to reach $23 billion in total drug sales by 2021, up from the estimated program sales for 2016 of $16.1 billion. AIR 340B said the program’s growth has gone unchecked for too long and policymakers should re-examine it to ensure the program is serving its original intent to improve access to drugs for uninsured or vulnerable patients.

While AIR 340B has been pushing for action to limit the expansion of the program, safety-net providers such as hospitals say the program should be protected because it allows them to provide more care to patients with no or little insurance.

‘There’s a lot of uncertainty about what’s going to happen’ with the 340B program, Ted Alexander, senior legislative assistant for Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), said at a Dec. 6 roundtable discussion sponsored by AIR 340B. Specifically, Alexander said Collins wants transparency in the program. Alexander said a number of different health-care bills will be coming through the next Congress, and stakeholders should have more information on how the program affects federal spending.”

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