The American Senior Alliance joined ten patient and provider organizations in Louisiana to share concerns with state legislators on House Bill 548 by Rep. Chris Turner, a bill that seeks to expand the federal 340B program.
The 340B program requires comprehensive reform at the federal level to ensure it meets the needs of the patients the program was created to serve.
As highlighted in a recent investigative report by the New York Times, the federal 340B program has been manipulated by many hospitals and pharmacies to benefit their bottom line rather than serving the needs of the local communities it was designed to help. In fact, the article demonstrates how the program has harmed access to healthcare, particularly in poor and underserved areas, which is precisely the opposite of what the program was intended to achieve.
While many states are looking to limit the 340B program, HB 548 attempts to expand it. We urge the Louisiana Legislature to lean on their colleagues in the Louisiana Congressional Delegation to champion comprehensive reform. On April 18, U.S. Senator John Kennedy introduced the 340B Reporting and Accountability Act to prevent fraud and bring transparency to the 340B Drug Pricing Program. And, U.S. Senator and Ranking Member of the HELP Committee Bill Cassidy has been a longtime advocate for comprehensive reform.
We believe that there are more pressing healthcare reforms that can be accomplished at the state level to address out-of-pocket costs for patients, such as sharing the significant discounts and rebates that insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) pocket as profit with patients at the point-of-sale.
We appreciate your efforts to improve healthcare access and equity in our state, and we remain committed to working with you toward that goal.
See the letter here.