AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement regarding the Health Resources and Services Administration’s 340B drug pricing program provisions in the CY 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):
“The AAMC is dismayed over, and strongly opposes, the administration’s proposal to dramatically reduce Medicare payments for outpatient drugs purchased through the 340B drug pricing program from average sales price (ASP) plus 6% to ASP minus 22.5%. The changes proposed by CMS are contrary to the statutory intent of the program to help covered entities and the vulnerable populations they serve. These new regulations will penalize safety net hospitals participating in 340B and severely impede their ability to sustain vital services and care to patients in the nation’s most underserved communities.
There is no question that drugs have become unaffordable for millions of Americans and the providers that care for them. It is illogical to suggest that the solution to rising drug costs is to gut a program that represents less than 3% of the total U.S. drug market and enables major teaching hospitals and other providers to care for vulnerable populations.
If policymakers want to address rising drug costs, they should do so directly—not by undermining the 340B program.
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 152 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.