Hospital CEOs petition Congress over prescription drug-pricing program

The CEOs of more than 700 hospitals and health systems sent a letter Tuesday to U.S. lawmakers, calling on them to protect the 340B drug pricing program. "Americans are right to be upset with the high prices being charged for new and existing drugs and cutting back the 340B program would make these problems much worse," the CEOs wrote.

The CEOs of more than 700 hospitals and health systems sent a letter Tuesday to U.S. lawmakers, calling on them to protect the 340B drug pricing program. "Americans are right to be upset with the high prices being charged for new and existing drugs and cutting back the 340B program would make these problems much worse," the CEOs wrote. "We are concerned about recent regulatory actions that have reduced the reach of this vital program and by legislative proposals that would undo more than 2 decades of bipartisan work to preserve the health care safety net." Hospitals participating in 340B provide approximately 60% of the nation's uncompensated and unreimbursed care, according to the CEOs, yet include only 38% of U.S. acute care hospitals. They noted 340B savings allow them to offer obstetrics, trauma care, and opioid addiction treatment. They have argued that Medicare payment cuts for drugs purchased through the 340B program "would not reduce the cost of prescription drugs in the United States and would weaken nonprofit hospitals' ability to serve patients."