Bad actors are exploiting the federal drug discount program to the detriment of patients – it’s time for policymakers to listen to us.

WASHINGTON, DC, January 29, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — In late 2023, the Community Access National network (CANN) launched a campaign to highlight the abuses within the 340B Drug Discount Program: “340B What About Me?”. As part of the campaign, CANN today released a video featuring real patients who have learned that they are being exploited by 340B entities.

“We’ve been sounding the alarm on 340B for years, yet the federal government has not taken action to protect patient interests. With today’s video release, we are saying that it’s time for our elected officials to listen to us, the patients in need of a champion, not executives from large corporations who are solely concerned about profit margins,” said Jen Laws, CEO, CANN. “The system is fraught with rampant abuse, yet large hospital systems continue to get to skate by without providing adequate charity care. 340B entities using the program correctly should not be afraid of accountability and transparency requirements. If they act like they have something to hide, let us believe they do and fix the problem.”

The 340B program was established to help nonprofit health care providers stretch scarce resources by purchasing outpatient prescription drugs at discounted prices, enabling the entities to then use the money saved to better help vulnerable patients by offering low- or zero-cost care and medications. Since its creation, the 340B program has experienced massive growth with little evidence that it is actually benefiting patients as intended. In 2022 alone the program exceeded $100 billion in sales. As thousands of hospitals have joined the program, there is growing evidence that shows the system is wrought with waste and abuse, with health care systems getting richer and patient debt getting deeper, leaving patients to ask: What about me?

“While no one is immune to the growing medical debt crisis, we’re tired of it being accepted as an issue too complex to solve. That mindset enables large hospital systems, their pharmacy middlemen, and contract pharmacies to continue to siphon hundreds of billions of dollars from a federal program created to help patients not corporations,” said Brandon Macsata, CEO, ADAP Advocacy.

Macsata further said: “Congress cannot continue to allow these bad actors to treat 340B as the bank they don’t have to rob while simultaneously cutting off care to the patients that need help the most. All we are asking for is Congressional oversight of a multi-billion-dollar federal program to ensure it is working for patients as intended. It’s past time for Congress to put the interests of patients above hospital systems and health insurers.”

CANN’s “340B What About Me” campaign will continue to educate patients of covered entities so they understand that they should be benefitting from the 340B program through lower costs for their medications at the pharmacy counter and are knowledgeable about the financial assistance from hospitals to which patients are entitled.

For general information, please contact CANN at [email protected].

About the Community Access National Network: The mission of the Community Access National Network (CANN) is to define, promote, and improve access to healthcare services and supports for people living with HIV/AIDS and/or Viral Hepatitis through advocacy, education, and networking. These services must be affordable to the people who need them regardless of insurance status, income, or geographic location.

For the original version of this press release, please visit here