Two hot topics are high on our legislators’ priority list this month! Please see below to ensure they hear the voice of Health-System Pharmacy in Kansas.
The 340B program is a drug pricing program which allows hospitals and other healthcare entities who care for high rates of uninsured and under-insured patients to access medications at a discounted rate. The discounts are then used to help cover the cost of providing care to patients who cannot afford it or don’t have health care insurance. CMS recently finalized a change to the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) which will cut reimbursement for many 340B drugs starting 1/1/2018, effectively negating a large portion of the benefit of this program to our institutions caring for our most at-risk populations. There is a bi-partisan bill currently in Congress which would fix this. This bill, H.R. 4392, introduced by Reps. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) to stop the $1.6 billion in cuts, already has an impressive 127 co-sponsors. Here are some links from 340B Health, an organization that advocates on behalf of the 340B program, to easily contact your Senators or Representatives to prevent these cuts! There are just a few more days for a bill to pass this year. For more information about this issue, here is ASHP’s Statement to CMS opposing this payment change from September.
Drug Shortages (sponsored by ASHP)
ASHP is working closely with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess the situation and provide perspectives on the patient care implications of the shortages of SVPs and other medications. On November 9, ASHP, joined by other healthcare groups, submitted a letter to congressional leaders asking Congress to take immediate action to address this crisis and to prevent future recurrences. Contact your Senator or Representative to share your stories of drug shortage management.
Director of Government Affairs
Kansas Council of Health-System Pharmacy