02 Mar Coronavirus: A Case in Point for the 340B Drug Discount Program
The Centers for Disease Control is now warning of the likely spread of the COVID-19 virus in the US. America’s safety-net hospitals will be on the front lines of this emergency and the 340B program stands as a vital tool to help these providers treat uninsured and underinsured patients.
340B also allows hospitals to provide medicines to outpatients who don’t have the money to pay for them. This could include the antibiotics, antivirals and other drugs that may be required to treat COVID-19.
The program will also help community health centers and sole community hospitals prepare and treat patients in a possible corona virus outbreak.
Meanwhile, Big Pharma continues to spread lies and disinformation about the 340B program. Why? Because it eats into profits. But drug company CEOs don’t seem to be hurting much. They’re managing to get by on hefty salaries of $7 million to $38 million per year.
It’s important to remember that 340B costs taxpayers nothing. It’s really the perfect government program. It requires drug makers to provide discounted medicines to public and private non-profit hospitals that treat high numbers of needy individuals. These providers then use the savings to help cover the cost of medical services for patients who cannot pay.
340B program discounts account for less than 2 percent of drug manufacturer revenue. That’s an awfully small price for the pharmaceutical industry to pay to help safety-net hospitals and other health providers better care for underserved populations.