Support SB 27: Protect Private Money Providing Patient Access
The 340B drug discount program is a privately funded, federally administered system. The program allows non-profit, safety-net hospitals to purchase outpatient medications from pharmaceutical manufacturers at the same price the manufacturers charge their best customers – NOT for free.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers, which continue to have record profits, agreed to fund the 340B program in order to be a part of Obamacare. Now they want to back out of that commitment. Their refusal to ship prescription drugs comes at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable patients being served by 340B hospitals.
The savings from the program help Kentucky hospitals to maintain access to care and make it possible for hospitals to offer additional services to their patients.
The federal Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA) allows 340B safety-net hospitals to use multiple “contract pharmacies”, retail or community pharmacies not owned by the hospital, as sites for the hospital’s patients to receive their medication. Patients benefit greatly from having these additional, convenient locations to obtain medication under the 340B program.
- More than 20 drug manufacturers have begun refusing to ship medications to the contracted pharmacies of 340B safety-net hospitals.
- The drug manufacturers are imposing arbitrary limitations, such as only allowing hospitals to use a single contract pharmacy and only if the hospital has no in-house pharmacy and agrees to submit patient claim data to the drug manufacturer.
- These limitations are creating particular hardships for rural safety-net hospitals that use more than one contract pharmacy for the convenience of their patients.
- As a result of the restrictions being imposed by drug manufacturers, Kentucky’s safety-net hospitals will lose millions of dollars in drug savings that they rely on to keep their doors open and support other valuable services for their patients.
- Without the savings from the 340B program, hospitals may be forced to reduce the services they offer, which will have a negative impact on patient access.
Pass SB 27 and join other states such as Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and West Virginia, that are swiftly enacting legislation restraining drug manufacturers from imposing arbitrary restrictions on the shipment of 340B drugs to the contracted pharmacies of 340B hospitals. The distribution of prescription drugs is subject to regulation at the state level and SB 27 will restore 340B pricing to hospitals using contract pharmacies.
Please support SB 27 – to protect contract pharmacies, hospitals, and most importantly, the patients we serve.
James C. Musser
KHA Senior Vice President
Policy and Government Relations