Get to Know 340B: Affordable Medications
|The 340B drug pricing program allows health centers to provide affordable medications to their patients. Read on to learn more about how patients benefit from the program.
|The federal 340B drug pricing program allows health centers to purchase outpatient medications at a discount and invest the savings into patient care. Savings from the 340B program ensure health centers can provide affordable medications and comprehensive services to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
|How does the 340B program expand access to affordable medications?
|The 340B program allows community health centers, and other covered entities to purchase outpatient medications at a discount. An example scenario from the National Association of Community Health Centers demonstrates how the program generates savings. If a medication costs $100 and the 340B price is $70, an insured patient's plan would pay $100, allowing the health center to keep $30 in savings.1
If the medication was not discounted under the 340B program and the cost was $100, the health center would receive no savings because the insured patient's insurance would pay $100.2 Savings from the 340B program allow health centers to provide affordable medications to uninsured patients who may otherwise not be able to afford them, even with the 340B discount.
|What 340B medications do health center patients rely on most?
|The costs of medications can be prohibitively expensive for many patients, but the 340B program ensures health center patients can manage their chronic conditions. Ninety-four percent of health centers report treating diabetes with Insulin purchased through 340B.3
In addition to diabetes, 88% of health centers report treating heart disease or high blood pressure with 340B medications, followed by 56% that rely on 340B to treat behavioral and mental health conditions.4 This does not account for medications to treat substance use disorder, which 11% of health centers report treating through 340B medications.5
Beyond these services, health centers also rely on the 340B program to provide patients with medications to treat HIV, respiratory illnesses such as asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and provide reproductive health care such as contraceptives.6
|What can you do to support 340B?
|Actions by third parties, including drug manufacturers and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) have placed significant pressure on the 340B program. As third parties accelerate practices that prevent health centers from retaining 340B savings, patients could lose access to medications.
Nearly 1/3 of community health centers estimated that more than 50% of their patients would go without needed medications if they did not have the 340B program.7
Up to 3 million health center patients could lose access to affordable medications due to third party threats to the 340B program.8
Please reach out to your Members of Congress and urge them to support the 340B program to ensure that patients in Tennessee and across the country have access to affordable medications.
| National Association of Community Health Centers. (2020). How 340B Supports Health Center Patients. Retrieved from https://wsd-nachc-sparkinfluence.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2020/10/340B___FQHCs_-_101_one-pager_-_9-28-20.docx
| National Association of Community Health Centers. (2022). 340B: A Critical Program for Health Centers. Retrieved from https://www.nachc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/NACHC-340B-Health-Center-Report_-June-2022-.pdf