Get to Know 340B: Opportunities to Advocate
|The 340B program sustains access to medications and health care services for vulnerable populations. Read on to learn more about what health centers can do to advocate to protect this critical 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.|
|Why is advocating for the 340B program critical?|
|The 340B drug pricing program allows health centers to simultaneously provide patients with affordable medications and sustain and expand services. Actions by drug manufacturers, Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBMs), and insurers have converged to affect the ability of health centers to utilize 304B savings as they were intended, which is to “stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible to reach more eligible patients and provide more comprehensive services.”1
Without the 340B program, patients would lose access to medications they need to manage conditions like diabetes and hypertension, and services such as behavioral health, dental, and OB would be curtailed or stopped entirely. About one-third of community health centers report that more than half of their patients would go without needed medications if they did not have the 340B program.2 Nationally, health centers report relying on savings from the program to provide behavioral health services (59%), substance use treatment (49%), dental (42%), and OB/GYN (30%).3
|Invite Members of Congress to your Health Center|
|National Health Center Week, an annual celebration to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of community health centers, will be held from August 7-13 this year. Members of Congress are on recess throughout the month of August and will be spending time in their home districts. August is the perfect time to invite Members of Congress or other elected officials out to your health center for a tour or event! Health centers can highlight the importance of the 340B program to their center and highlight what services the 340B program supports.
If you would like assistance in inviting elected officials to your health center during National Health Center Week, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Ask your Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor the PROTECT 340B Act|
|If Members of Congress are not able to make it to a health center for a visit, they can still support the PROTECT 340B Act by becoming a co-sponsor. This bi-partisan legislation would prohibit ‘pick-pocketing' practices by which third-parties such as Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and insurers retain savings from the 340B program at the expense of community health centers. Although several states, including Tennessee, have taken steps to prevent these practices for the PROTECT 340B Act would apply to drugs dispensed under private insurance and Medicare and expand protections nationwide. The PROTECT 340B Act currently has more than 100 co-sponsors in the House, including Tennessee Representatives Diana Harshbarger (R-1) and John Rose (R-6). Please reach out to your Members of Congress and urge them to support the PROTECT 340B Act.
If you would like assistance reaching out to your Members of Congress, please reach out to email@example.com.
|NACHC's 340B Blog Series|
|The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is starting a 340B blog series to advocate for the program and highlight community health centers. NACHC is interviewing health centers on how they use 340B savings to improve access and patient care.
If you are interested in speaking with NACHC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
| 340B Drug Pricing Program. (2022). Health Resources and Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.hrsa.gov/opa#:~:text=The%20340B%20Program%20enables%20covered,entities%20at%20significantly%20reduced%20prices.|
| 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|