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What is the 340B Drug Pricing Discount Program?
The 340B Drug Pricing Discount Program is a program developed by Congress, which requires drug manufacturers to sell outpatient drugs at a discount to safety-net providers, also referred to as qualified covered entities, serving high numbers of low-income Medicare, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Insurance patients. The discount is approximately nineteen percent lower than the Medicaid net price. Congress created this program to allow these providers to â€śstretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.â€ť Savings from 340B help to fund free and low-cost medications, as well as, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer, dental and primary care clinics that serve our most vulnerable citizens. (340B Health)
How does 340B affect patients?
The 340B Drug Pricing Discount Program provides indigent patient populations with access to high-priced medications that would otherwise be inaccessible. The savings resulting from the 340B Program are then used to fund free and low-cost medications, as well as, clinics for HIV/AIDs, diabetes, cancer, dental and primary care for citizens without access to adequate care. This program increases the accessibility of healthcare services and assists in closing the gap in healthcare delivery.
What did the legislation in 2010, as part of the Affordable Care Act, do to the 340B Program?
The change in legislation to 340B, with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, lowered the restrictions to qualify as a covered entity and expanded the number of covered entities that qualify for the program. Covered entities include: disproportionate share hospitals, childrenâ€™s hospitals, cancer hospitals exempt from Medicare prospective payment system, sole community hospitals, rural centers, and critical access hospitals. To be eligible, these hospitals must be state-contracted, non-profit centers granted power by the government or a private non-profit with a state contract to provide indigent care. All covered entities must meet the Medicaid payer-mix.
What is the 340B Prime Vendor Program?
The 340B Prime Vendor Program (PVP) is managed by Apexus through a contract awarded by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). HRSA is the federal government branch responsible for administering the 340B Drug Pricing Discount Program. HRSA's Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) manages it. As the primary contractor of 340B, Apexus is responsible for negotiating pharmaceutical drug pricing for covered entities, as well as, improving access to affordable medications by establishing a distribution network of pharmaceuticals for covered entities.
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