Yesterday, I read an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Drugmakers Accuse Hospitals of Profiting from Federal Discounts." Yes, drug companies complaining about someone else making a profit, sometimes an enormous profit (and they are clearly experts in enormous profits).
The 340B Program is designed to help poor patients receive cheaper medications and it works. Believe it or not, it took WMHS several years to eventually qualify, which we did just this year. So, there is a great deal of oversight with the program and not just any entity is allowed to enter. The steps that we are making to ensure that low income patients, along with the uninsured and underinsured, receive their medications are unbelievable. We have allowed for much greater access to prescription drugs and it can only help reduce the cost of care in the long run. In addition to helping with changes to the care delivery model to one of value based, the 340B Program is an integral part of our Charity Care efforts at WMHS.
With the many ways that government has reduced payments to hospitals over the recent years, this program continues to help and is one that truly assists those in need. In closing, before you start feeling sorry for the drug industry, the 340B Program is about 2% of the $320 billion drug market in the US.