340B hospital and pharmacy groups have launched another digital ad campaign touting the 340B program’s benefits to policymakers. It comes amid a rise in negative messages about 340B from the drug industry and conservative think tanks and the publication of exposés about alleged misuse of 340B savings in mainstream news.
The ad blitz began Dec. 1 and ends Dec. 15. It is sponsored by 340B Health, the American Hospital Association, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, America’s Essential Hospitals, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, and the Children’s Hospital Association. Six of them ran a similar campaign this summer.
The ads emphasize 340B’s “vital role in caring for low-income and rural patents” and call on policymakers to “support and protect 340B,” America’s Essential Hospitals spokesman Carl Graziano said. They are running on the websites of the Washington Post, CNN, Politico, Fox, Becker’s Hospital Review, and “other publications with policymaker audiences,” Graziano said.
The campaign also includes a website about “the ways 340B hospitals care for patients in need, ensure access to essential care, and help keep communities healthy,” he said.
In July, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) grabbed attention with a full-page ad in The Washington Post that said the 340B program benefits “big hospitals and chain pharmacies,” not patients.
In August, Kaiser Health News published an investigative report about some health centers’ large profit margins and 340B’s role in generating health center revenue. In September, the New York Times published an investigative report on alleged misuse of 340B savings by a Catholic health system in Richmond, Va.
Also in September, Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access sounded an alarm about “recent articles attacking the 340B program, some under the guise of research studies and some funded by drug manufacturers and their allies.”