Addressing 340B Abuse to Protect Missouri Patients

May 10, 2024

In Missouri, the pursuit of equitable healthcare access and affordability remains a pressing concern. At the forefront of this endeavor is the 340B Drug Pricing Program, originally designed to assist underserved communities. However, recent reports have illuminated a troubling reality: the program often falls short of its intended purpose within the state. Rather than extending vital discounts to Missourians, it has instead become a source of significant profit for select entities and for-profit pharmacies. This disparity has not only inflated costs for patients but has also disproportionately affected rural hospitals, struggling to maintain competitiveness within Missouri’s healthcare landscape.

Presently, of the 142 contracts between Missouri’s 340B entities and pharmacies nationwide, only half of the contract pharmacies are located in medically underserved areas.

While legislative efforts such as Senate Bill 751 aim to address healthcare accessibility and affordability, proceeding with such initiatives without comprehensive federal reform risks premature action. Before any expansion of the 340B program can be considered in Missouri, it is imperative to realign its operations with its initial mission: to ensure equitable healthcare access for all Missourians in need.