The 340B Drug Pricing Program allows safety net providers to provide life-saving drugs to people who might otherwise have no other source for medication.
The Federal 340B Drug Pricing Program was established with bipartisan support to enable safety net providers, such as Ryan White clinics, to stretch scarce federal resources, offering a wider range of services, and improve the quality of care for persons living with HIV. With 340B savings, Ryan White clinics are able to:
- Provide prescription drugs to needy patients at no or reduced cost
- Assist patients with their insurance premiums, thus promoting medication adherence and continuous treatment
- Provide medical services at little or no cost to needy patients
The 340B program is not funded by taxpayers, but rather is a discount that drug manufacturers must provide through an agreement with the government as a condition of Medicaid and Medicare covering their drugs.
The 340B Program has come under intense scrutiny from the pharmaceutical industry and its allies, which have engaged in a coordinated campaign to distort the purpose and goals of the program. The program is simple: safety net providers purchase drugs at discounted prices, dispense or administer those drugs to their patients, and bill the responsible payer for those drugs.
Because the drugs cost less to obtain through the 340B program, the Ryan White clinic is able to do more with whatever income it receives – whether through reimbursement for services, grant funding, or private donations.
The program’s critics are attempting to undermine or even eliminate the program using a multitude of tactics, including:
- Prohibiting the use of 340B drugs for insured patients
- Eliminating or restricting the use of contract pharmacies to dispense 340B drugs to Ryan White clinic patients (many of which do not operate their own pharmacy)
- Alleging that the program is being abused or used improperly
Worse, pharmacy benefit managers, insurers, and even some state Medicaid programs have begun to eye 340B Program savings as a mechanism to balance their own budgets.
Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access (RWC-340B) is a national organization of HIV/AIDS medical providers receiving support under the Ryan White CARE Act. The CARE Act provides funding for services primarily to poor and/or uninsured people with HIV/AIDS. Ryan White providers are eligible to participate in the federal 340B Drug Discount Program, which enables them to expand and support care. In order to preserve access to this critically important program, members of RWC-340B have pledged to work together to advocate for the interests of fellow 340B Ryan White providers.
RWC-340B was organized in 2013 by a group of providers with one common goal – to preserve the benefits of the 340B program for themselves and for all private non-profit 340B program participants that provide primary care with a particular focus on persons living with HIV/AIDS. While many of these are grantees under the Ryan White program, others might participate in the 340B program as federally qualified health centers or other provider types. Most importantly, all rely on the 340B program to do more for their patients with less funding.
More Than Primary Care
All members of RWC-340B provide primary care to persons living with HIV/AIDS, but the 340B Program allows them to do so much more. Experts recognize that HIV/AIDS is not just a medical challenge, though medical providers can be an excellent gateway to the full spectrum of care and support persons living with HIV/AIDS need to succeed in their fight against the disease. The 340B Program allows participants to stretch their resources to support the full HIV/AIDS Care Continuum, from diagnosis, to linkage to care, to medication adherence and viral suppression.
RWC-340B is only as strong as its members. The political forces acting on the 340B Program include the pharmaceutical industry, physicians, hospitals, and others that are seasoned veterans in the halls of Congress. Our results are tangible and our stories are compelling, but we must strengthen our voice and demand attention lest we become another inadvertent casualty of political forces.
If you are:
- A private non-profit provider of primary care with a focus on persons living with HIV/AIDS;
- Participating or eligible to participate in the 340B program; and
- Willing and able to stand up for your fellow providers and your patients
We need you to join us! Click one of the buttons below to learn more about membership levels and dues structures.