Howard Brown Health Denounces Bristol-Myers Squibb Action Affecting Vulnerable Patients
(Chicago, IL, December 11, 2023) – Effective November 1, drug manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) announced new restrictions on its 340B pharmacy discount program that will reduce access to affordable medications for the treatment of HIV and the prevention and treatment of blood clots. 340B pricing for these medications is essential in providing uninterrupted care and services for uninsured patients at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) like Howard Brown Health.
“These restrictions allow pharmaceutical companies to keep 340B savings for themselves instead of ensuring access to affordable medication for patients and supporting vital safety net providers,” said David Ernesto Munar, President and CEO. “Like all FQHCs, we reinvest every penny of our 340B savings into maintaining and expanding health and social service programs, such as providing nearly $12 million annually in free and subsidized care that our patients rely on. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are looking for ways to further increase their profit margins at the expense of vulnerable patients across the country.”
On-going restrictions to 340B discount pricing by drug manufacturers continue to weaken the safety-net and deny access to affordably priced medications to patients most in need. The restrictive mandates imposed by manufacturers mean that FQHCs will be limited to just one or two contract pharmacies to dispense reduced priced medications, creating unnecessary geographic barriers for patients to access lower cost medications.
To prevent further attacks on the 340B program that jeopardize the health and wellbeing of our nation’s most vulnerable and underserved populations, Congress must take action to protect the program against the pharmaceutical industry. Congress should consult 340B-covered entities in crafting solutions to prevent further attacks on the program.
“We call on our representatives in Congress to ensure that the program can effectively serve its original purpose: supporting safety net providers and vulnerable patients with affordable treatments and related services,” Munar said.
To learn more about pharma attacks on the 340B program, and ways to fight back, visit our briefing page online at 340B is Under Attack – Howard Brown Health.
Rooted in LGBTQ+ liberation, Howard Brown Health provides affirming healthcare and mobilizes for social justice as an agent of change for individual wellbeing and community empowerment. Howard Brown envisions a future where healthcare and transformative social policies actualize human rights and equity for all. Howard Brown offers primary care, behavioral health, and social services at 11 clinics across the city, regardless of ability to pay.
Wren O’Kelley, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing