The Oregon Biz Report - Business News from Oregon

Read about accutane journal moderate acne here

Drug program for poor being misspent

April 28, 2016

medsDrug assistance program intended for the poor should go to the poor. Not pad profits for hospitals and pharmacies
By David Darnell

Many government programs are intended to help Americans in need, but some of them are more effective at it than others. In other cases, programs start out with the right objectives in mind but then drift off course due to mismanagement or poor oversight.

One of those programs that is drifting off course is the Federal discount program that some hospitals use to purchase prescription drugs. It’s called 340B, and it was started almost a quarter-century ago as a program to help indigent patients get better access to needed prescriptions[1]. Since that time, the program has expanded well beyond its original targets, and that has diluted the program’s effectiveness at helping the poor.

A full five years ago, the GAO highlighted the need for the Department of Health and Human Services to “strengthen oversight regarding program participation and compliance”[2] within the 340B program. That need for greater accountability and transparency has only grown since that GAO report as the program has expanded.

It is clear that the program needs more oversight: The Department of Health and Human Services has published just 14 audits from the last fiscal year, and five of those audits revealed misuse or abuse of the system[3] — a 35% rate. No private-sector business would tolerate a situation in which 35% of their employees were caught cheating or misusing company funds.

If we really want the 340B program to help the needy, then the program should be designed and overseen to accomplish that goal specifically. As it stands today, eligibility for the 340B program is not targeting indigent patients as effectively as it should — and that in turn means that some hospitals and other facilities are taking a program that is intended to help the poor and using it to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors. This abuse of the program raises costs for everyone else.

To truly help the needy, hospitals and clinics should be good stewards of programs meant for the welfare of their patients. The government can and should enhance that stewardship with oversight that ensures accountability and transparency.

David Darnell is President of the Willamette Valley Mining Association and the Vice-Chair of Oregon Congressional District #5 Republican Party.

  
Print This Post Print This Post    Email This Post Email This Post

Discuss this article

Wes C. Addle April 28, 2016

From where did you obtain the information that only 14 audit results were published from the last fiscal year? Please go to this link that illustrates that about 30 audit results have been published in this fiscal year. (http://www.hrsa.gov/opa/programintegrity/auditresults/fy16results.html)
Regarding the last fiscal year, as you referenced, more than 100 audit results have been published.
You should check your facts and information before writing articles with misinformation.
Are you able to share factual information about how the program’s effectiveness has been diluted?

Wes C. Addle April 28, 2016

From where did you obtain the information that only 14 audit results were published from the last fiscal year? Please go to this link that illustrates that about 30 audit results have been published in this fiscal year. (http://www.hrsa.gov/opa/programintegrity/auditresults/fy16results.html)
Regarding the last fiscal year, as you referenced, more than 100 audit results have been published. (http://www.hrsa.gov/opa/programintegrity/auditresults/fy15auditresults.html)
You should check your facts and information before writing articles with misinformation.
Are you able to share factual information about how the program’s effectiveness has been diluted?

Randy Barrett April 28, 2016

There have been more than 400 audits of 340B hospitals to date. Do you know how many audits there have been of drug manufacturers in the program? One. And it’s never been released.

Safety-net hospitals treat more than twice as many poor patients as non-340B hospitals. Also, they care for twice the number of African American, Hispanic and Native American patients. Where, exactly, is the abuse?

Big Pharma hates the 340B program because it cuts into almighty profits. Its surrogates, like Mr. Darnell, are spewing misinformation to try and convince Congress to gut it.

Find out more about how the 340B program really works at http://www.340bcoalition.org

Just Me April 28, 2016

Is this any surprise? Any government program over time will creep to spending abuse. This program is no exception. We only get serious when things get bad. How about we get active rather than just mad.

Jeff April 28, 2016

This article smell like it was written by a politician that is financed with drug manufacturer money. Oh wait, it is.

340B Advocate April 30, 2016

Very poorly written. The 340B program discounts come from the manufacturers pockets, not the government, the government just manages the program. The 340B eligible entities give much more uncompensated care than the 340B discounts they receive. The auditing inforation is wrong and the “findings” found in the audits are small issues, not abuse. Im sure private sector business have more clerical issues than the 340B program and that is basically what the “abuse” is. It saddens me this comes from my home state, but he probably doesn’t believe in equal rights as well.

340B Veteran May 2, 2016

Let us look at the comment “a program to help indigent patients get better access to needed prescriptions”. If you look at the referenced link, you will see that this source is extremely active in greatly reducing the 340B program. Look at the membership of this referenced organization is made up of almost all pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The original intent of the “The 340B Program enables covered entities to stretch scarce Federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.” Noted on the government website: http://www.hrsa.gov/opa/index.html

This is not limited to “needed prescriptions” (as referenced in the article) as many of these “needy” patients require more assistance than just medications. Many of these patients that are given assistance tend to require services that have been long overlooked due to ability to pay at other non-340B facilities.

I am all for equal compliance and transparency but this article does not address any concerns on whether or not that manufacturers are complying with their voluntary participation in the 340B program. I reference the recent congressional hearing on Turning. Turning executives sent e-mails to themselves attempted to deny 340B discounts to federally qualified eligible entities. Turing should have looked into dropping out of the program. But instead of complying with the guidelines, it seems that they were attempt to covertly pad their profits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the following question to confirm that you are a real person: *

Top Business News

 

Top Natural Resource News

 

Top Faith News

 

Copyright © 2018, OregonReport. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use - Copyright - Legal Policy | Contact Oregon Report

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Business Report through daily email updates:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

RSS Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)