Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik sponsored bipartisan legislation to protect hospitals from losing eligibility for the 340B drug pricing program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many hospitals halted elective procedures and patients avoided nonurgent healthcare services, causing patient volume at hospitals to decrease. For hospitals eligible for the 340B Drug Pricing Program, this volume loss is compromising their eligibility to participate in the program. Loss of eligibility would cause these hospitals to lose access to this drug affordability program, giving patients less access to affordable drugs.
“Residents of the North Country and our rural hospitals should not lose access to this critical drug pricing program due to changes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stefanik said. “Losing access to this program would make it increasingly difficult for North Country hospitals to administer lifesaving drugs at a discounted price to patients in need. The 340B Program is essential to providing access to healthcare for North Country communities, and I will continue to fight for it.”
This bill (H.R. 3203) would ensure protections for all hospitals whose 340B participation has been impacted or is at risk of being impacted by COVID-19 and would allow the requirement that a proportion of low-income patients served at hospitals that began participating in the 340B program during the COVID-19 emergency to be waived.
The 340B Drug Pricing program requires pharmaceutical companies to provide drugs at discounted prices to specified clinics and hospitals. Rural hospitals facing financial hardship rely on this program to be able to afford continuing to provide healthcare services in their communities.
Click here to read full text of this legislation, introduced by Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Calif.).