340B safety-net hospitals lost $2.96M from drugmaker restrictions, AHA finds

The average 340B safety-net hospital, which cares for a disproportionate share of low-income and uninsured patients, reported annual losses of $2.96 million, and the average critical access hospital lost an average of $507,000 as a result of drug company 340B restrictions, according to a survey conducted by the American Hospital Association. 

More than 300 340B hospitals participated in the survey in April, and in a Nov. 14 news release, AHA Executive Vice President Stacey Hughes said the results show "how unlawful actions by drug companies to restrict 340B discounts to community and specialty pharmacies are directly reducing access to care and services for patients and communities, especially those in rural areas."

When divvied up by arrangements with community and specialty pharmacies, critical access hospitals — which are locations with 25 beds or less serving rural communities — lost slightly more money than disproportionate share hospitals, according to the survey. On average, CAHs lost $117,000 per pharmacy arrangement and DSHs lost $102,000. 

The 340B program recently marked its 30th anniversary of enforcing pharmaceutical companies to lower prices for certain drugs if they're going to eligible safety-net hospitals, but 18 drugmakers have imposed 340B pricing limits, "affecting hundreds of drugs," the AHA said. 

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