September 17, 2021

340B and Current Policy Entanglements

Ken Perez,
Vice President, Healthcare Policy and Government Affairs for Omnicell

The 340B Drug Pricing Program continues to provide life-saving care for millions of Americans. Yet, a growing number of voices believe this program needs significant changes to maintain its foundation of helping providers who are working hard on behalf of our country's most vulnerable patients.

The authoritative insider on the intricacies of the 340B Program, Ted Slafsky, Founder and Principal, Wexford Solutions, and Publisher and CEO of 340B Report, joins our latest Future of Pharmacy Podcast to sort through the latest policy and legal issues currently impacting the 340B Program.

The 340B Drug Pricing Program has been helping hospitals serve vulnerable communities for almost 30 years, offering savings on prescription medications to eligible entities, including hospitals and federally qualified health centers. As healthcare costs rise, reimbursement cuts are made, and uncompensated care skyrockets, the 340B Program is an essential source of funding for critical patient care. But a variety of industry and regulatory pressures are making it increasingly complex to navigate.

As the publisher of 340B Report, Ted has a pulse on many of the legal, policy, and financial complexities surrounding the 340B Program. Our conversation covers everything from what's behind the dispute between drug manufacturers and contract pharmacies to current proposed legislation to ensure stability for the program.

The ongoing fight over the use of contract pharmacies as part of the 340B Program is one of the biggest crises the program has ever faced. For almost three decades, the program has been successful and grown, thanks in large part to the use of contract pharmacies. These partnerships in the community make it easier for patients to get prescriptions closer to home. The pharmaceutical industry contends that the 340B Program is too extensive in scope. They believe there are too many contract pharmacies involved, and they want to stop providing these discounts. For 340B covered entities, this has resulted in a significant financial hit.

Some of the benefits of the 340B Program are being transferred from safety-net hospitals to private payers. Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and other payers are prohibited from discriminating against 340B pharmacies in over a dozen states, particularly on the commercial side.

The Protect 340B Act is a bipartisan initiative that seeks to unify some of these state protections for 340B on a national level. By banning discriminatory pricing and policy terms targeting the 340B Drug Pricing Program, the Act would ensure patient access to affordable drugs.

Listen to the Future of Pharmacy Podcast for Ted’s perspective on these latest challenges affecting the 340B Drug Pricing Program. You can also hear more from Ted during Omnicell Illuminate 2021, the year's biggest digital event for medication management. Register today to learn more about some of today's biggest healthcare challenges, including 340B program management.

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