Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lawmakers Seek Transparency in 340B Program

Recently, Sen Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), introduced the Helping Ensure Low-income Patients have Access to Care and Treatment (HELP ACT) as an effort to close loopholes in the 340B drug discount program. This bill would also hold hospitals accountable for passing savings on to patients, according to a press release.

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Under the current 340B program, hospitals or covered entities are reimbursed for prescription drugs at a higher rate but are not required to pass the profits on to patients. The dramatic growth of participation in the program has resulted in higher overall costs within the supply chain, some argue.

"The 340B program is an important resource for hospitals serving low-income areas,” Dr Cassidy said. “But too often the program’s discounts are used to pad hospitals’ bottom lines instead of helping disadvantaged patients afford their treatments. This bill will increase transparency and accountability and help ensure these discounts reach patients."

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