Celebrating 304B's 30th Anniversary
|Today marks the 30th anniversary of the 340B drug pricing program. The 340B program expands access to affordable medications and health care services. Celebrate the impact of the 340B program in community health centers by reading this week's TPCA Policy Blog!|
|What is the 340B program?|
|The 340B drug pricing program is a federal program which allows certain providers, including community health centers, to purchase outpatient medications at a discount.|
|What is the purpose of the program?|
|In 1992, Congress created 340B program under the Public Health Service Act to ensure eligible providers could “stretch scarce Federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.”1 Savings generated from the 340B program are reinvested into patient care in the form of affordable medications and expanded health care services.|
|What makes health centers unique covered entities within the 340B program?|
|The health center model naturally facilitates the goals of the 340B program. Community health centers are located in underserved areas and provide comprehensive preventive and primary care services to all patients that come through their doors, regardless of whether they have insurance or the ability to pay for care.
The 340B program is a critical component of health centers' ability to care for underserved and vulnerable populations. Health centers are required by statute,2 regulation,3 and mission to invest every penny of 340B savings into providing the highest quality care possible for their patients. Savings from the program to not only reduce the cost of lifesaving medications for their patients but ensure patients can access a wide array of services.
|How do health centers use the 340B program?|
|Tennessee's health centers serve 437,000 patients, two-thirds of whom have incomes below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and 30% of whom are uninsured.4 An additional 31% are covered by Medicaid and 13% by Medicare.5 Although the 340B program allows health centers to purchase medications at a discount, health centers often reduce the cost beyond the 340B price to make them affordable for their patients. Without the 340B program, medications to manage a variety of conditions would be unattainable.|
|According to a recent survey from the National Association of Community Health, 94% of health centers treat diabetes with insulin purchased through 340B and 88% treat heart disease or high blood pressure with 340B medications.6 Fifty-six percent use 340B medications to treat behavioral and mental health conditions and 11% of health centers treat substance use disorders with 340B medications.7|
|Far beyond the impact of affordable medications, the 340B program sustains core services at community health centers, ensuring comprehensive care. Nationally, 59% of health centers report using 340B savings to provide behavioral health services, 49% to provide substance use disorder treatment, 42% to provide dental services, and 30% to provide OB/GYN care.8 Health centers in Tennessee are reflective of their counterparts nationwide, reporting that 340B savings are key to providing behavioral health care, dental services, OB/GYN, and supporting pediatrics. In some areas, health centers are one of the few or only accessible and affordable provider of these services.|
|Over the past 30 years, the 340B program has been integral to the ability of community health centers to fulfill their mission of providing high-quality, comprehensive care to all patients.
Contact your Members of Congress today and ask them to support the future of the 340B program!
| 340B Drug Pricing Program. HRSA. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.hrsa.gov/opa|
| Public Health Service Act Section 330(e)(5)(A)|
| 45 Code of Federal Register 75.307|
| Tennessee Health Center Program Uniform Data System. HRSA (n.d.). Tennessee Health Center Program Uniform Data System (UDS) data. Retrieved from https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/data-reporting/program-data/state/TN|
| 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|