The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3127.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 11:20 AM

Abstract #74278

Improving access to pharmaceutical care for poor and underserved populations

Ted Slafsky, Public Hospital Pharmacy Coalition, 1875 Eye St. NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20006, 202-466-6550,

To address the high costs of pharmaceuticals, Congress created the Medicaid drug rebate program in 1990, which requires drug companies to enter into an agreement with the Secretary of Health and Human Services as a precondition to doing business with Medicaid. The agreement specified that, for each outpatient drug covered by Medicaid, the manufacturer must give its "best price" to Medicaid. As a result, many pharmaceutical companies had a disincentive to give deep discounts on drugs because they would have to extend the same discounts to Medicaid.

To correct this, Congress enacted Section 340B of the Public Health Service Act, which requires pharmaceutical manufacturers participating in the Medicaid program to enter into a second agreement with the Secretary under which the manufacturer agrees to provide discounts on covered outpatient drugs purchased by specified government-supported facilities, called "covered entities," that serve the nation's most vulnerable patient populations. The amount of these discounts is comparable to the best price discounts to which Medicaid is entitled under the 1990 rebate program; however, covered entities are free to negotiate even deeper discounts than the best price amount.

The Public Hospital Pharmacy Coalition (PHPC) is an organization of over 160 safety net hospitals and health systems throughout the U.S. The Coalition was formed to increase the affordability and accessibility of pharmaceutical care for the nation's poor and underserved populations. PHPC monitors, educates and serves as an advocate on federal legislative and regulatory issues related to drug pricing and other pharmacy matters affecting safety net providers.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

National Legislative and Regulatory Update on Issues Affecting Safety Net Providers

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA