The dispute with pharmaceutical firms over the use of contract pharmacies for 340B covered entities is the biggest crisis facing the program since its inception in the early 1990s, 340B Report Publisher and CEO Ted Slafsky tells “The Future of Pharmacy” podcast.
In an approximately 20-minute discussion with Ken Perez, Vice President, Healthcare Policy and Government Affairs, of pharmacy automation company Omnicell
Slafsky discusses various challenges facing 340B, including reimbursement cuts from payers, duplicate discounts and the contract pharmacy standoff, which he described as “the biggest crisis in the 340B program since its inception” and the result of the pharmaceutical industry believing that the program has expanded too much.
Slafsky says that the elimination of 340B discounts for contract pharmacies has had a significant impact on covered entities. For instance, “a rural hospital in Kansas had to close its emergency room, which of course is devastating for rural communities. There is also a hospital in Illinois that has had to switch its patients to lower quality insulin and supplies,” he says. “And this is a real problem for patients.”
Slafsky notes that 340B covered entities have been building up their in-house pharmacies and specialty pharmacy programs to help offset some of the losses and continue continuity of care.
In the podcast, Slafsky also provides his predictions on where we may be ultimately headed in the contract pharmacy standoff.