skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

UAW strike continues: Officials say EPA standards must catch up; Mississippians urged to register to vote ahead of the Nov. 7 general election; NYers worry about impacts of government shutdown.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Senate leaders advance a plan to avoid a government shutdown, an elections official argues AI could be a threat to democracy and voting rights advocates look to states like Arizona to rally young Latino voters.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A small fire department in rural Indiana is determined not to fail new moms and babies, the growing election denial movement has caused voting districts to change procedures and autumn promises spectacular scenery along America's rural byways.

Health Centers Clash with 'Big Pharma' Over Drug Savings Program

play audio
Play

Tuesday, November 22, 2022   

A case involving "Big Pharma" and Community Health Centers serving low-income and uninsured patients began with opening statements this month. At issue is a government drug discount program known as 340B, which requires drugmakers to sell certain medications at lower prices to health centers and hospitals.

Three drugmakers, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk, are suing the federal government for the right to restrict price rebates for drugs dispensed at health centers.

Vacheria Keys, director of regulatory affairs for the National Association of Community Health Centers, said it cuts into the centers' revenue and ultimately, affects public health.

"As health centers have been losing money, and that translates into losing services for patients, pharmaceutical manufacturers have actually made money over the last few years," Keys pointed out. "While safety-net providers, like health centers, are passing out their COVID-19 vaccines to the most underserved communities."

The three drug companies did not immediately reply to requests for comment. Theirs is one of three similar lawsuits. The trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has argued the 340B program provides tens of billions of dollars in drug discounts, but does not require health centers or hospitals to prove the money goes to patient care. Health centers countered sharing their financial data would allow drugmakers and health insurers to force them into unfavorable contracts.

Dr. Judd Semingson, CEO of the Community Clinic in Northwest Arkansas, said they serve a large and culturally diverse group of patients, including people from the Marshall Islands who have relocated to the state. He noted until recently, many in the Marshallese community were not eligible for Medicaid, and the 340B program allows his clinic to discount some prescriptions for them, and others in need.

"This is important because this allows many of our patients to get new medications, to get top-of-the-line treatments, when it comes to things like diabetes or lung disease that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive," Semingson explained.

Health centers reported using the 340B savings to pay for services like dental care, behavioral health, helping patients with copays and in some cases, services like transportation or food. The government recently rejected an administrative complaint by Community Health Centers, so advocates for the centers are asking Congress to step in.

Disclosure: The National Association of Community Health Centers contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, and Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Montana has more than 30 million acres of state and federal lands, nearly one third of the state. Conservation advocates are holding a photo contest featuring people and their dogs to celebrate being outdoors. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

This is the last weekend to get involved in a photo competition designed to encourage Montanans to explore the wilderness with their pets. There …


play sound

In a new poll, about a quarter of Hispanic students in post-high school education and training programs report feeling discriminated against…

Social Issues

play sound

New Yorkers are preparing for an impending government shutdown. State officials are worried about how it could impact the work state agencies have …


In 1920, Black people made up 14% of all farmers. It is estimated Black farmers lost around $326 billion worth of land within the 20th century. BIPOC farmers now make up less than 5% of all U.S. farmers. (Heather Craig/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Advocates are drawing attention to systemic racism in farming across North Carolina and the nation. The National Farm Worker Ministry is hosting its …

Environment

play sound

Researchers have found the amount of land affected by saltwater intrusion on the Delmarva Peninsula has dramatically increased in recent years…

Groups trying to prevent bullying say simple things such as sparking conversations in the classroom about each student's favorite TV show can help establish inclusiveness. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

This weekend marks the kickoff of National Bullying Prevention Month. Those raising awareness hope schools in South Dakota and elsewhere work toward …

Environment

play sound

The arrival of fall has farmers transitioning to the harvest season, but what if some gathered their crops with rows of solar panels right alongside …

Environment

play sound

A new report finds more than half of the sewage facilities in Idaho had pollution violations in 2022. The sixth annual analysis by the Idaho …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021