The pharmaceutical industry threatens access to affordable prescription drugs.
As our country faces both a public health and a looming economic crisis, access to affordable prescription drugs is crucial. Unfortunately, as drug prices continue to rise, the pharmaceutical industry is attempting to dismantle one program that already ensures access to low-cost medications – the 340B Drug Program.
Community health centers, like Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa, and other safety net providers utilize the 340B program to provide affordable, lifesaving prescription drugs. In recent weeks, there has been increasing number of pharmaceutical companies targeting this program in order to increase their own profits.
In Iowa, 93% of community health center patients live in poverty and face barriers to care such as lack of transportation. Other patients live in rural areas where local access to pharmaceuticals is challenging. We need to make sure prescription drugs are not only affordable, but geographically accessible, to avoid poor health outcomes. Without access to medications, some patients would end up in the emergency room or face costly, unnecessary hospitalizations.
Without the 340B program, our community faces dire consequences including higher drug prices and decreased access. The 340B program is a lifeline for many Iowans, and access to affordable prescription drugs should not be compromised due to corporate greed.