Drugmakers Want Limits on 340B Discount Program


 

Drugmakers are once again pushing for policymakers to impose limits on a federal drug discount program for safety-net providers.

AIR 340B, a group linked to drugmakers, released a report Dec. 6 that said the 340B drug pricing program is growing rapidly and is expected to reach $23 billion in total drug sales by 2021, compared to $16.1 billion in 2016. The group 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.

Meanwhile, Randy Barrett, 340B Health’s vice president of communications, told Bloomberg BNA in a Dec. 6 e-mail that the report is another attempt by the drug industry “to protect future profits.” 340B Health represents safety-net providers participating in the program.

Barrett said 340B hospitals provide $24 billion in uncompensated care each year and “cutting the program would result in higher medicine prices and reduced access to clinical care for the poor across America.”

My full article on the report is at http://src.bna.com/kA3.

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