For Immediate Release: September 30, 2021
Today, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), the leading advocacy voice for Community Health Centers, responded to the announcement that the Biden Administration will rescind the Trump Administration’s regulatory requirement that Community Health Centers pass along all their 340B savings on insulin and injectable epinephrine to low-income patients with high-cost or no health insurance.
“NACHC appreciates that the Biden Administration recognizes that this rule would have placed further administrative burdens on health centers at a time when they are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Joe Dunn, SVP for Policy and Research. “Health centers will continue to serve nearly 29 million patients, providing access to affordable primary care services and medications. We are encouraged to see this chapter closed and look forward to working with the Administration on practical solutions that will lower drug costs for health center patients into the future.”
NACHC made protecting the 340B program at health centers a top priority after the regulation and a series of moves by the drug industry have threatened the ability of health centers to offer discount drugs to patients. Members of Congress from both parties joined with health center leaders in expressing concern about the rule and underscored the history of health centers as excellent stewards of the 340B program, using the savings generated as Congress intended. View NACHC’s recent infographic about how health centers invest savings from the 340B program.
Though the aim of the regulation was to broadly lower the cost of these drugs for consumers, it did not do so and was narrowly focused on health centers. From 2009-19, drug makers tripled the prices of common types of insulin in the U. S, for no evident reason. Health centers, which already provide discounted prescription drugs and services to patients with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, have a longstanding mission to ensure that all individuals can afford the pharmaceuticals and medical services they need – regardless of their ability to pay. NACHC led the effort mobilizing hundreds of comments from health centers on the harmful impacts of the rule. In today’s action, the Biden administration recognized the concerns that NACHC and its members raised.
Established in 1971, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) serves as the national voice for America’s Health Centers and as an advocate for health care access for the medically underserved and uninsured.