28 Apr Drug Industry Continues Campaign Against Ryan White Clinics During Pandemic
By 340B Matters
The COVID-19 pandemic is straining the resources of all front line health providers. That includes Ryan White HIV/AIDs centers that cater to primarily low-income populations.
So why is Big Pharma still trying to sabotage their budgets?
The 581 Ryan White centers across America provide primary and specialty care for patients with specific health issues related to HIV and AIDS. They are also part of the federal 340B drug discount program that requires pharmaceutical companies to sell medications for less to health providers that care for underserved populations.
Ryan White patients are at higher risk for COVID-19 infection. The clinics are serving as the first stop for coronavirus testing and treatment. And yet, that doesn’t appear to matter much to the drug industry that has spent years trying to derail the 340B program that helps fund them.
Big Pharma hates 340B because it cuts into its excessive profit margins, so they have set up a website and a campaign effort that would vastly scale back certain types of pharmacies that Ryan White clinics use to dispense more affordable medications to 340B patients. Ryan White centers rely heavily on contract pharmacies. If Big Pharma’s 340B pharmacy proposal were enacted by Congress, the loss of revenue to Ryan White clinics would be devastating – especially during a national health crisis.
With the COVID-19 crisis facing health care providers, one would think that the drug industry would immediately withdraw its proposal to financially hurt Ryan White clinics. But they haven’t. In the midst of a global pandemic that is challenging our country as never before, Big Pharma continues marching forward, putting their own profits over the interests of the health care providers on the front lines providing care to our neighbors and family members.
Do they really think that any Member of Congress would now cast a vote to support slashing funding that flows to Ryan White clinics from the 340B Drug Discount Program?
It’s time for Big Pharma to shut down its campaign against the 340B drug discount program and the health care providers it supports.
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