340B hospitals mark up cancer drugs 3.8X for commercially insured patients, study finds

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Hospitals participating in the 340B drug discount program price oncology drugs at an average of 3.8 times their 340B acquisition costs, according to a report the Community Oncology Alliance published Sept. 14.

The research team analyzed price transparency data for 340B hospitals and found that across 59 oncology drugs, the lowest median markup was 2.4 times the 340B acquisition cost (Adcetris), and the highest was 11 times (Epogen).

They also found 340B hospitals don't decrease the prices they charge insurers or patients when their acquisition prices decline, which nullifies efforts to reduce prices at the drugmaker level. 

The finding researchers labeled "most problematic" was that 340B hospitals often charge their cash-paying customers the same as the median price for commercial insurers.

"In short, to the extent 340B institutions fulfill their mission of providing lower cost care, we are not seeing it reflected in their drug prices," the researchers wrote.

Read the full report here.

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