AHF Lauds Congressman Hal Rogers for Supporting Preservation of the 340B Drug Discount Program

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) has again denounced
the Obama administration’s attempt to change the 340B drug-pricing
program by introducing user fees on drug purchases.

The program, which issues drug price discounts for safety net
providers such as rural hospitals and specialized treatment centers, has
repeatedly come under fire by the pharmaceutical industry.

Healthcare Foundation
espouses the statement made by House
Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) condemning the Obama
administration’s proposal to finance the 340B program with user fees.
According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA), the drug-pricing
“…requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to
eligible health care organizations/covered entities at significantly
reduced prices. The 340B Program enables covered entities to stretch
scarce Federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible
patients and providing more comprehensive services.”

The fee proposal, first appearing in Obama’s 2012 fiscal budget request,
supports a 0.1 percent user fee on doctors, hospitals, and clinics that
purchase drugs under 340B. This would generate a projected $7.5 million
to run the discount program, adding to the $17.23 million in already
appropriated funds. While the fee appears minor, it would unnecessarily
burden already disadvantaged safety net providers and the communities
they serve. Rep. Rogers emphasizes the financial strain on providers,
saying that a user fee would “compound their financial troubles,” and
“chips away at the sustainability of these rural hospitals.”

“The 340B program is the lifeblood for community-based non-profit
healthcare providers like AHF,” said Michael Weinstein, President
of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Not only does it allow us to effectively
serve our local community, but it also provides a mechanism for AHF to
run life-saving clinics around the globe. The program has been
consistently assailed by the pharmaceutical industry and would be
further weakened with the introduction of user fees.”

Rep. Rogers made previous statements criticizing attempts to finance the
management of the 340B program with user fees at a hearing in March

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
594,000 individuals in 35 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare


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