FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Amy Simmons Farber, 202 309-0338
BETHESDA, MD — Over 300 Community Health Centers and State and Regional Primary Care Associations signed on to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) letter in response to a Request for Information on the future of the 340B Drug Discount Program. The request came from Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.). It sought bipartisan policy solutions that would provide stability to the program. Since its enactment over 30 years ago, health centers have been model examples of why the safety-net program is needed, but the last few years have demonstrated the fragility of the law. It is NACHC’s goal to work with all stakeholders to create sustainable solutions to strengthen and stabilize the 340B program. Health centers cannot survive with the current uncertainty, and NACHC will continue to fight to protect the program for health centers and the more than 30 million patients they serve.
The 340B program allows Community Health Centers to purchase outpatient medications at significantly reduced costs, enabling them to provide affordable discounted or free medications to uninsured and underinsured patients.
“By law and statute, health centers are required to reinvest every penny of 340B savings into activities that expand access for their patients,” stated Joe Dunn, NACHC’s Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Research. “These savings are used to meet the unique needs of their communities, such as dental care, behavioral health, specialty care, translation services, food banks, housing support, and copay assistance programs. When health centers lose 340B savings, our 30 million patients suffer irreversible consequences.”
Earlier this year, NACHC formed a strategic partnership with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), called the Alliance to Save America’s 340B Program (ASAP 340B). ASAP 340B members are a partnership of Community Health Centers, patient, provider, and consumer advocates, and leaders from the biopharmaceutical industry.
The formation of ASAP 340B has been a catalyst for new ideas and approaches to the 340B program. Dunn noted that ASAP 340B “supports true safety-net providers and the communities they serve. Our members have not always seen eye-to-eye on how to improve the 340B program, but we have come together now because of the urgent need for action to ensure the program’s long-term viability. As we continue to grow the alliance, it will reflect the voices of a broad range of safety-net providers who support strengthening the 340B program. ASAP 340B has an open door to all 340B stakeholders who are ready to discuss how to improve and modernize the 340B program for all stakeholders.”
About National Association of Community Health Centers
Established in 1971, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) serves as the leading national voice for America’s Health Centers and as an advocate for health care access for the medically underserved and uninsured.