In 1992, the federal government told drug manufacturers they had to give steep discounts to hospitals that treat a large percentage of poor patients.
The law got bipartisan support and it was a boon for hospitals
and the federal government. In the decades that followed, the drug discount program has grown in leaps and bounds. But this spring as the feds have been drawing up new rules for the program, a pitched battle has broken out between hospitals and drug manufacturers who say the program, known as 340B
, is now bloated and badly regulated.
The drugmakers say the law is meant to benefit patients like David Chance. He turned up at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland a few weeks ago saying it was hard to breathe every time he laid down.
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Source: Kaiser Health News