FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The AIDS United 340B Work Group sets forth principles to ensure patients’ continued access to essential care
HIV Safety-net Providers Call for Protection of 340B Program
WASHINGTON — Today, the AIDS United 340B Work Group, a coalition of 11 safety-net provider organizations working to advance health equity across the country by delivering HIV services to the people in communities harmed by systemic barriers to care, released a Statement of Principles to protect the integrity of the 340B Program and ensure patients’ continued access to essential health care services.
The 340B Drug Pricing Program is working as intended — providing critical resources to safety-net providers and enabling them to invest in programs and infrastructure to save and dramatically improve the lives of patients from historically marginalized and underserved communities. The Work Group’s Statement of Principles should guide policymakers and stakeholders as they look to the future of 340B to ensure that any efforts to modernize the program protect people living with HIV and the providers who serve them.
“People living with and at risk of HIV have consistently faced the greatest inequities in health and health care, and any attempt to undermine the integrity of the 340B Program will reduce access to essential health care and only serve to harm those most in need,” said Daphne Kackloudis, senior advisor of the Work Group. “The AIDS United 340B Work Group is committed to protecting the patients and communities we serve, and we are confident our Statement of Principles can serve as a foundation for productive dialogue about how to strengthen the program and ensure it will continue to support lifesaving and life-sustaining HIV care.”
By enabling safety-net providers (collectively known as “covered entities”) to buy outpatient prescription drugs at a discount, the 340B Program helps them stretch scarce federal resources and reinvest savings in life-sustaining programs, infrastructure and services. Current efforts by drug manufacturers to alter the scope of 340B are impacting the ability of HIV providers like those in the Work Group to serve Americans in need of care while simultaneously increasing the already massive profits of the manufacturers.
The Work Group Statement of Principles clearly sets forth the necessary measures to maintain the integrity of the program, including:
- The 340B Program should maintain the current definition of “patient,” as stipulated by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s 1996 guidance.
- The 340B Program should continue to support the ability of covered entities to serve all patients who walk in their doors.
- Drug manufacturers should not be permitted to dictate restrictions on pharmacy locations at which the 340B Program can operate.
- Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurance companies should be prohibited from discriminating against covered entities simply by virtue of their status as participants in the 340B Program.
- Drug companies should be prohibited from implementing punitive restrictions designed to shore up their profits at the expense of patients and communities in need.
The Work Group looks forward to working with Congress, the administration and the broader safety-net provider community to ensure the 340B Program remains strong and viable, and that safety-net providers can continue to serve those vulnerable to and living with HIV.
About the 340B Work Group: The 340B Work Group is a subcommittee of AIDS United’s Public Policy Council. It is composed of 11 safety-net providers working to advance health equity across the country by getting HIV services to the people in communities harmed by systemic barriers to care. Collectively, the Work Group provides care and services to more than 300,000 people, including more than 25,000 people living with HIV, across 11 states and Washington, D.C.
About AIDS United: AIDS United’s mission is to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. through strategic grant-making, capacity building and policy. AIDS United works to ensure access to life-saving HIV care and prevention services and to advance sound HIV-related policy for populations and communities most impacted by the U.S. epidemic As of January 2021, our strategic grant-making initiatives have directly funded more than $118 million to local communities, and we have leveraged more than $184 million in additional investments for programs that include, but are not limited to, syringe access, access to care, capacity-building, HIV prevention and advocacy.