COVID-19’s First Responders Aided by 340B Drug Discount Program - 340B Matters
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17 Mar COVID-19’s First Responders Aided by 340B Drug Discount Program

As America battles an unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, the safety-net hospitals and clinics participating in the 340B drug discount program are on the front lines of testing and treating those who have fallen ill. 

COVID-19 is a virus that may also cause pneumonia that can be deadly to the elderly and those with secondary health conditions. 

About 20 percent of people catching the coronavirus will require medical attention. Many of these patients will be treated on an outpatient basis with inhalers and nebulizers using albuterol in combination with steroids to shrink lung inflammation and clear the airway. Antibiotics including macrolides and quinolones are also essential in fighting COVID-19 secondary infections. We continue to learn of promising therapies, as we learn more about how the virus works.

The 340B program makes these medications and others available to safety-net providers at a discount, allowing them to free up scarce financial resources to treat the expected wave of coronavirus patients across the country. 340B also helps reduce financial barriers to care by allowing providers to supply medications at a discount or free to patients who cannot afford them. 

340B healthcare providers across America are showing up to work every day and are fully engaged in America’s fight against this pandemic. We can never thank them enough for all that they are doing to protect and care for us. 

Indiana University Health is offering free virtual screenings of potential COVID-19 patients via computer to help avoid overcrowding at its emergency rooms. 

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., is also providing telemedicine screening through its JeffConnect system. 

Scripps Health in San Diego, Calif., has staffed a nursing hotline to screen potential COVID-19 sufferers and point them to nearby testing facilities.

America’s safety-net healthcare system is vital in the fight against the coronavirus. The 340B drug discount program is essential to keeping it fully resourced to face the current national challenge – and those in the future.