What Is the 340B Drug Pricing Program and Why Is It so Important?

November 12, 2015

The Houston Chronicle’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy’s Baker Institute Blog (Chapman and Kantarjian, 11/2) provided a primer on the 340B Drug Pricing Program, as well as support for the program, which they call “a medical lifeline that should be maintained, nurtured and expanded.” The authors maintain that the 340B Program helps patients and facilitates more comprehensive services, as follows: “1) the load of low-income patients in 340B hospitals is twice that of non-340B hospitals; 2) 340B hospitals account for one-third of all disproportionate share hospitals (or DSH—hospitals with high volumes of vulnerable patients) but provide nearly 60 percent of all uncompensated care; and 3) more 340B DSH than non-340B hospitals provide specialized services, which are often not profitable.”