Large hospital systems and pharmacy benefit managers have been taking advantage of a federal program for far too long, netting billions for themselves while access to care for low-income patients dwindles.

The program, known as the 340B Drug Pricing Program, requires pharmaceutical companies to offer discounted prescription medications to eligible health care entities that provide care to the specified 340B population – low-income patients not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare.

340B, in theory, then enables these entities to share what they have saved on discounted prescription drugs with their specified patients through improved access to treatments, reduced cost for medicines, etc.; however, because the program lacks accountability requirements and Congressional oversight, savings are not making their way to patients.

William Remak is chair of the California Hepatitis C Task Force and International Association of Hepatitis Task Forces. He is also founder of the Global Immunization Action Team (GIANT) and an ambassador for the Americans for Cures Foundation.

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