20 Sep NiagaraHub: Crucial Drug Discount Program at Risk [by Joseph A. Ruffolo]
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is a safety-net facility. That means we treat all sick people regardless of their ability to pay. Many of our patients are on Medicaid, Medicare or lack health insurance altogether. A little-known federal statute called the 340B drug discount program helps us care for the neediest in our community.
Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, the program requires drug companies to sell discounted medications to healthcare providers that serve high numbers of low-income Medicare and Medicaid patients or are located in remote rural areas. These safety-net hospitals pass the discounts on to needy patients and also use savings from the program to fund cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and primary care clinics that help the underserved.