340B Month of Action
|The National Association of Community Health Centers designated May as a 340B month of action to raise awareness about the importance of the 340B drug pricing program to health center patients.
Read on to learn more about the push to protect the 340B program in this week's TPCA policy blog.
|The federal 340B program allows health centers to purchase outpatient medications at a discount. By mission and statute, health centers are required to invest every cent of savings from the program into patient care. Not only does the program support access to affordable medications, but it allows health centers to meet the unique needs of their communities, supporting services such as behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment, dental, and OB/GYN.|
|How do health centers use contract pharmacies?|
|Community health centers provide comprehensive services, including pharmacy services, to their patients. Health centers rely on in-house and contract pharmacies to ensure the maximum level of access to medications.
According to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), 56% of health centers have an in-house pharmacy.1 However, the investments to start and maintain in-house pharmacies can be prohibitive for many health centers.
To expand access to medications, the majority of health centers, 86%, use contract pharmacies, and many use a combination or both types of pharmacies.2 Contract pharmacies are key to ensuring health center patients can access the medications they need when they need them.
|Why is Congressional action on contract pharmacies needed?|
|Over the past few years, certain drug manufacturers instituted restrictions on the use of contract pharmacies by health centers, which places patient care in jeopardy. Manufacturers have restricted shipments of 340B-priced medications to contract pharmacies or tied shipments to data submissions from health centers. Limiting the ability of community health centers to use contract pharmacies severely hinders the ability of patients to receive life-saving medications.
The 340B statute as written does not prevent drug manufacturers from continuing to restrict contract pharmacies, and legislation is needed to address this critical problem. The National Association of Community Health Centers formed the Alliance to Save America's 340B program (ASAP 340B) with PhRMA to pursue efforts to shore up the 340B program, however, we must continue to garner support in Congress.
Learn more about ASAP 340B >>>
|Urge your Members of Congress to Protect 340B|
|On Tuesday, May 16, advocates across the country joined together to send a message to Congress that health centers can't wait for 340B protections. There is still time to join the movement and ask your Members of Congress to support the 340B program! If you fill out the form below, you can send a customizable message to your members of Congress.
Reach out to your members of Congress >>>
|Tell Your 340B Story!|
|The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is collecting stories from the field to illustrate the significance of the 340B program. The Gather Voices platform will allow health center advocates to share their stories with a broader audience to raise awareness and support for the 340B program.
Share your story with NACHC >>>
| 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|
| NACHC, 2018. NACHC 340B Manual for Health Centers Second Edition.|