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Hospitals Chase Lucrative Drug Discounts

(Atlanta Journal-Constitution) June 16, 2017 - At Grady Memorial Hospital, where Atlanta’s poor and uninsured are welcomed, the pharmacy charges most patients $5 or less for outpatient medications that treat everything from diabetes to cancer.

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Winston Wong, PharmD (Posted: June 20, 2017)

quotesThe article points out the biggest concern associated with the so-called abuse of the 340B program. As noted, the 340B program was intended to provide care to the poor. As such, while the institution requires a 51% discount on medications, the institution can bill the patient's insurer for the normal negotiated amount, thus allowing the institution to use the margin to help subsidize the care provided. Technically, the institution is suppose to bill for medications used for the poor only, but that has expanded to a larger population as noted. This is a pretty accurate description of the abuse that is taking place, which is contributing to the high cost of drugs. There has been talk of tightening the system up for years, but it has yet to happen.quotes

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