25 Apr Journal Inquirer: Congress must protect vital discount drug program
“Community health centers deliver value by providing cost-effective medical care to more than 10 percent of our state’s population. For First Choice to provide comprehensive medical care (up to 30 different services) for one patient over the period of one year costs an average of $662 per patient. Compare that to the cost of just one emergency room visit, which on-average is $1,400 and is a frequent choice for those who cannot access affordable health care in the community.
Health centers work closely with every patient, operate with efficiency, and provide the exact care patients need at the most affordable cost.
Losing vital federal legislative support for the 340B Drug Discount Program would give us one more unnecessary obstacle to overcome. Again, this program does not cost the federal nor state government any money — drug manufacturers simply sell the medications to eligible health centers at a substantial savings, and those savings are reinvested by the centers into additional programs and services.
At First Choice, in addition to providing reduced cost medications, we offer care coordination, a fitness center, yoga classes, nutrition services, and cooking classes at no cost to our patients — all thanks to the benefits of the 340B Drug Discount Program.
Congress needs to protect this program. As the ones who are on the front lines every day of keeping thousands in our communities healthy, we know it is an investment that pays off time and again.”