Advocacy organization Community Voices for 340B (CV340B) is hosting a march to the U.S. Capitol “to defend 340B” on Aug. 3 just after the 340B Coalition annual summer meeting in nearby National Harbor, Md., concludes.
CV340B, a nonprofit organization supported by 340B providers and service industries, was formed in 2018 to “harness the power of the community voice” to protect the 340B program, National Advocacy Manager Rhiannon Marshall said. Bill von Oehsen and Peggy Tighe, two long time 340B provider advocates who are law partners at the firm Powers Pyles Sutter and Verville, play a key role in the group.
Marshall said the march and a rally the evening prior at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center are not affiliated with the 340B Coalition conference. Rather, CV340B deemed this a “good time to get the message out,” she said, because many key players in 340B will be attending the conference.
Marshall said she hopes to see strong representation in the march from covered entities throughout the country. She called the march an opportunity to educate “the uninformed and the misinformed” about 340B’s downstream benefits to underserved communities, “things like healthcare, housing, transportation, and mental health.”
“It’s really a ‘big tent’ endeavor,” Marshall said. “We’re hoping to really unite the 340B stakeholders under one tent and march with one goal—to defend 340B.”
Related PR Campaign
CV340B also recently launched a “Together for 340B” national public relations campaign to “educate the country about the 340B program and also the harm that the pharmaceutical manufacturers have inflicted” on covered entities from their restrictions on contract pharmacy and other measures, Marshall said. It will include social media influencer outreach, public education, video content, and eventually TV ads, she said.
Marshall said the PR campaign was born following the 340B Coalition winter conference in February. She said there was a widespread feeling among attendees that “we have to do something” about manufacturers’ 340B contract pharmacy restrictions and how they harm safety net providers by limiting entities’ 340B savings.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, CV340B’s five regional networks would hold monthly in-person opinion leader forums, Marshall said. Those activities have largely migrated online, which Marshall said “has worked well if not better” because it lets community members get involved and take action from their homes.