Introduction: The 340B Drug Discount Program required drug manufacturers provide discounted outpatient drugs to healthcare organizations which serve vulnerable patient populations to allow these institutions to offer more services to more people. As the 340B program expanded, controversy has centered on which entities have benefited from the program. Many healthcare organizations sold 340B drugs to well-insured patients at full price, and thus have been financially rewarded. Amendments to the program have permitted 340B providers to utilize contract pharmacies to dispense 340B medication, which has furthered the debate over which stakeholders are benefiting from the program.
Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study was to determine which stakeholders benefited because of the 340B Drug Discount Program, and what have been the drivers of recent changes to the program. Methodology: This study utilized a literature review. One database aggregator and 6 academic databases were used to collect 70 total sources. These sources were reviewed and reduced to 39 sources which were used in the written research. Of these, 20 sources were used in the Results section. Results: Research showed that 340B eligible entities and contract pharmacies have financially benefited from the 340B program. Patient benefit has been indirect, as qualified providers have expanded service offerings and increased access to healthcare services. Regulatory reform, as well as profit potential, have driven the expansion of 340B as more providers have expanded eligible service lines.
Discussion/Conclusion: The 340B program has realized its purpose in allowing healthcare organizations serving vulnerable populations to expand access opportunities to these patient populations through increased capacity and expanded services. While the goal of the 340B program has often been misconstrued, direct financial benefits to eligible providers have allowed for this expansion of access.
Gerlach J, McSweeney S, Swearingen A, Patil N and Coustasse A. Benefits of the 340B Drug Discount Program. Poster presented at: The Lewis College of Business Research Day; 2017 Nov 10; Huntington, WV.