Healthcare organizations that joined the federal 340B drug discount program after 2004 were more likely than other program participants to serve wealthier communities with higher rates of health insurance, according to a study.
The finding conflicts with the program's purpose of helping healthcare providers deliver better care for low-income or insured patients by receiving discounts on certain medications.
It also should buoy opponents of the program.
Indeed, last week, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry's trade group, again filed suit to strike down a 2014 rule by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration that allows safety net hospitals to obtain discounts when purchasing so-called orphan drugs when using them to treat non-orphan conditions or diseases through the 340B program.
The 2014 rule altered the original statute drafted by Congress, declaring that only orphan drugs designated for a rare disease or condition “and used to treat such rare disease or condition” are exempt from the 340B program, PhRMA contends in its suit.