Crescent Community Health Center collaborates with Infocus Pharmacy and Mercy One Outpatient Pharmacies to help patients in need access life-saving medications. This program is under attack from the pharmaceutical community.

The pharmaceutical industry is making efforts to dismantle the program that ensures low-cost medications including non-shipment of drugs like insulin, or refusal to work with contract pharmacies under the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

The 340B Drug Pricing Program allows hospitals and other health care providers (“covered entities”) to obtain discounted prices on “covered outpatient drugs” from drug manufacturers.

For more than 25 years, the 340B program has been at the intersection of health centers’ ability to manage three primary goals: Access, quality and financial viability.

Access — 340B enables health centers to ensure patients can afford prescribed medications, particularly underserved and uninsured patients.

Quality — Pharmaceuticals enable health centers to treat acute conditions, manage chronic disease and optimize health outcomes.

Financial viability — 340B savings enable health centers to support key patient care services that may otherwise be unfunded and unavailable to patients.

Crescent leverages savings from the 340B program on behalf of all Crescent patients, regardless of income or ability to pay, to ensure access to safe and appropriate medications. This savings generates enormous community benefit by allowing us to reinvest savings in our care model for all patients.

Crescent, in collaboration with Infocus and MercyOne Outpatient Pharmacies, utilizes the 340B program to provide affordable, lifesaving prescription medications to patients in need. Created by Congress is 1992, 340B was given the charge to stretch federal resources and provide as much care for as many patients as possible through qualified health centers.

A new patient that recently used the pharmacy services at Mercy One Outpatient Pharmacies was paying more than $100 in copays each month for her daughter’s insulin. The patient was overwhelmed with relief to learn about the Crescent 340B program and how it could help her obtain savings. The family had been scraping by and were struggling to pay for essentials so they could pay for their medication. Using the 340B program enabled the mother to not have to choose between putting food on the table and accessing medicine.

“I have seen firsthand the benefits to patients and the community. The cost savings to patients is invaluable. However, the greatest benefit is the quality of care that Crescent Community Health Center provides with the integration of pharmacy services,” noted Angie Miller, CPhT and owner of INFOCUS Pharmacy.

“As a community pharmacist for the past fifteen years, I know the benefits of the 340B program. The 340b program gives access to new high-cost medications. Many would not be affordable to patients. Even insured patients often have high deductibles and copays, can be made affordable with the 340B savings. We see proven, positive outcomes for these patients,” said Joshua Feldmann, PharmD, RPh owner of Envision Pharmacy Consulting. “These savings are also used to improve the quality of care for high-risk patients. This in turn reduces the burden of uncompensated care on our hospitals. Our local hospital sends patients to Crescent because of their reduced readmissions. This program is essential to continue our mission!”

Without the 340B program, our community members face decreased access to care as increased medication costs. The 340B program is a lifeline for many Iowans, and should one of us suffer, we all suffer. Please join us in contacting our local and national representatives to ensure affordable health care is a reality for all.

Please advocate for the 340B campaign:

Collins has served as Crescent Community Health CEO since 2019. This piece is submitted on behalf of Crescent Community Health Center, Mercy One Outpatient Pharmacies, INFOCUS Pharmacy Services, Envision Pharmacy Consulting.

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