The 340B drug pricing program was designed to help improve access to medicines for vulnerable, low-income patients through manufacturer
discounts to specific qualifying hospitals and federally funded clinics. Unfortunately, the program has strayed far from its purpose, with more
and more health care entities using these deep discounts for themselves. A recent New York Times investigation illustrates one of the ways in
which the program is often abused to serve as a profit growth engine for wealthy hospital systems. The investigation demonstrated how a large
hospital system is underinvesting in its 340B hospital that serves lower-income patients and patients of color.i Meanwhile, the hospital system
is using those patients so that it can access 340B discounts and invest in expanding outpatient facilities in wealthier areas. Unfortunately, this
is just one of many examples of health care entities manipulating the program to benefit their bottom line. At this point, it seems patients are
the only ones not benefiting from the billions of dollars in discounts manufacturers provide each year through the 340B program.