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Comment & Response
October 16, 2013

Drug Discount Program

Author Affiliations
  • 1Washington Cancer Institute, Medstar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC
  • 2Medical Oncology, Swedish Cancer Institute Edmonds, Edmonds, Washington
JAMA. 2013;310(15):1626-1627. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.276737

To the Editor We believe that the Viewpoint by Drs Conti and Bach1 on the costs of the 340B drug discount program lacked a balanced perspective and perpetuated several misperceptions. The assertions made by the authors, particularly that physicians are altering prescribing behaviors to profit from 340B, have no factual underpinning.

We agree that the 340B program is poorly regulated and has reportedly been misused for competitive advantage in some communities, failing to serve its original purpose of incentivizing cancer care for the uninsured, underinsured, and Medicaid patients.2 This should not imply, however, that the program fails to serve eligible patients in most communities, and we applaud efforts under way to rein in any misuses of the program.3