What is 340B?
Marking its 30th anniversary, the 340B Drug Pricing Program has helped thousands of disadvantaged patients to access medication and care they otherwise could not.
Being the second-largest pharmaceutical initiative in the US after Medicare Part D, 340B continues to grow and serve vulnerable populations through the provision of discounted drugs.
According to data presented by Drug Channels Institute, discounted drug purchases under the program in 2021 were at least $43.9 billion, representing a sharp 259.83% increase from $12.2 billion in 2015.
Yet, despite the program's success, many still don’t know how 340B works and how crucial it is to our healthcare facilities and communities.
In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the 340B Program, how it functions, and what just some of its benefits are.
What Exactly Is the 340B Program?
In a nutshell, the 340B Drug Pricing Program allows certain safety-net facilities, called covered entities, to purchase outpatient drugs at federally mandated discounts, usually ranging from 25% to 50%. The program aims to “stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.”
Under this program, manufacturers are mandated to provide certain medications at a reduced price to 340B-approved healthcare facilities, all without cost to US taxpayers.
How Does the 340B Program Work?
While the 340B program is not always a direct patient-benefit initiative; it works in a distinctive way that delivers positive long-term effects on the country’s healthcare, especially for our most vulnerable patient groups.
So, how does the program function in practice? First and foremost, your healthcare facility must meet the eligibility requirements set by Section 340B of the Public Health Service Act.
Once registered, your facility will be able to obtain access to the reduced "340B" prescription pricing for eligible, covered outpatient drugs. Drug industry manufacturers must provide drug discounts to 340B-approved establishments, enabling these healthcare facilities to accrue the so-called “340B savings”.
The “340B savings” represent the difference between the standard wholesale drug price and the discounted 340B price. Participating healthcare centers utilize these savings to provide valuable things like affordable medical services and drugs to uninsured or underinsured patients.
Benefits of 340B Program
Holding strong bipartisan support, the 340B program is unique in providing a vast array of life-saving benefits to communities and the entire population.
On the patient's level, the program helps low-income and underinsured individuals access much-needed treatment. Participating healthcare facilities often use the 340B savings to tackle issues and illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, mental health, lifesaving prescription drugs, smoking cessation, transportation, and bilingual medical consultations, among others.
Equally, the 340B program generates valuable financial resources for healthcare providers to look after their patients and communities that otherwise would be left behind. This, in turn, helps to build a healthier society and benefits the US on a broader scale. It allows ongoing and extremely needed care, preventing vulnerable patients from more expensive interventions.
Conclusion: Engage a 340B Expert
The 340B Program plays an important role not only in the lives of vulnerable patients but also has tremendous benefits for the US as a whole. A healthy and thriving society is the basis of any nation, and it's our responsibility to take care of the people who need our help the most.
However, the 340B Drug Pricing Program is often plagued by vague, hard to decipher information, difficult to find help, and lots of legalese that can be challenging for anyone to understand, much less put into practice.
At Optimal 340B, we have the expertise to help covered entities and contract pharmacies to make the most of your 340B Drug Pricing Program. Whether you’re looking to maximize your 340B savings to enhance healthcare for your community, or fix compliance issues, we’ve got you covered.
Don't wait to get A Better 340B. For You. For Your Community.