By Nancy Davenport-Ennis, CEO, National Patient Advocate Foundation.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "As part of our mission to serve as the patient voice in improving access to, and reimbursement for, high-quality healthcare for millions of Americans, NPAF is proud to be part of important research related to the 340B Drug Discount Program, particularly in light of federal budgetary cuts in health care provider services. Originally created by Congress in 1992 to help uninsured indigent patients gain better access to prescription medicines, the program requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide discounts on outpatient prescription drugs to entities that serve high numbers of uninsured indigent patients.
"More than 20 years after its creation, the 340B program appears to have strayed from its original purpose, leading to this recent analysis by our broad-based group of providers, pharmacists, patients and innovators. Among the potentially serious consequences highlighted in today's White Paper are concerns that some uninsured indigent patients may not be experiencing direct benefit from the program's existence; anecdotal evidence that clinical decision-making may be skewed by efforts to take advantage of the 340B discount; and growing evidence of displacement of non-340B providers who serve a key role in providing patient access to important health care services. Therefore, improved transparency and oversight of the 340B program is needed to ensure it remains aligned with its original intent.
"NPAF feels very strongly that this is a critical program today and going forward for the many patients who are uninsured and of indigent status. Because of the importance of the program, and due to our recent findings, we fully support and encourage a thorough examination of the 340B program by Congress to ensure it is meeting its original goals for the millions of Americans who depend upon it."
National Patient Advocate Foundation is a national non-profit organization providing the patient voice in improving access to, and reimbursement for, high-quality healthcare through regulatory and legislative reform at the state and federal levels. NPAF translates the experience of millions of patients who have been helped by our companion, Patient Advocate Foundation, which provides professional case management services to individuals facing barriers to healthcare access for chronic and disabling disease, medical debt crisis and employment-related issues at no cost. If you are in need of direct patient services, please contact Patient Advocate Foundation at 1-800-532-5274 or on the web at www.patientadvocate.org.
SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation