25 Jul Opinion: Congress should save this program that helps provide medicine to low-income Texans
“The list of government programs that provide free or low-cost care to millions of patients and don’t cost the taxpayers a dime is short.
In fact, it may be one line long. Since being signed into law in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush, the 340B drug pricing program has saved billions of dollars in drug costs for safety-net providers, allowing us to care for low-income and rural patients and communities.
The way 340B works is pretty simple. In order to participate in the Medicaid and Medicare drug programs, pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to provide discounts ranging from 13 percent to 23 percent on outpatient drugs sold to certain clinics, health centers, and public and non-profit hospitals that serve large numbers of low-income or rural patients.
The savings from those discounts are reinvested into expanding vital care for those patients and funding crucial community facilities. For many small rural hospitals, the 340B discounts are the difference between staying open and closing their doors.”