Lawmakers, hospitals support 340B program

More than 100 U.S. Senators and Representatives have urged their fellow lawmakers to preserve a drug pricing program for hospitals that has come under fire in recent months, AHA News Now reported.

The American Hospital Association has also voiced its support for preserving the 340B drug program. "Our 340B hospitals report that the program enables them to expand healthcare services to the community, increase the number of patients they serve, or offset losses from uncompensated care," said AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack. "This essential program helps safety-net providers stretch limited resources to better serve their communities, especially the uninsured and low-income patients, and we appreciate this strong showing of support by members of the House and Senate."

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has closely scrutinized the 340B program. In recent days, Grassley has asked for information from pharmacy retailing giant Walgreens regarding its relationship in providing 340B discounted drugs to outpatients, Lexology reported.

Grassley has taken issue with the way the 340B program has functioned in some hospital settings. FierceHealthcare previously reported that Duke University Medical Center purchased drugs through the program at a discount of more than $48 million, then sold them to insured patients for a profit of nearly $70 million.

To learn more:
- read the AHA News Now article
- here's the Lexology article