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Under the Federal 340B Program, hospitals and eligible health care clinics that serve low income or rural populations can qualify for federally negotiated manufacturer discounts on purchases of prescription drugs. Approximately 50,000 entities participate in the 340B program, where pharmaceutical manufacturers are instructed to supply outpatient medications to participating providers at discounted rates of 20% to 50%. Participating hospitals depend on profits from the differential between their reimbursement for these drugs and the discounted rates they disburse to finance affordable patient care in underserved communities. On June 15, 2022, the US Supreme Court ruled that major cuts to 340B payments were unlawful, an important victory for participating hospitals. But this win may be transitory, as the Supreme Court also gave the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) clear instructions on achieving its cost-cutting goals.


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