What are the options for purchasing 340B drugs?
Clinics have several options for purchasing
- directly from the manufacturer;
- through the federally selected 340B
Prime Vendor Program;
- through another buying group that markets
to 340B-eligible entities;
- through a wholesaler.
Each of these options is briefly described
1. Direct from the Drug Manufacturer
When drugs are purchased directly from the manufacturer, clinics
may be offered additional savings, such as a reduction in cost of
1% - 2% if payment is made within thirty days. An example is a family
planning clinic that purchases birth control pills in volume directly
from Ortho at significant savings.
2. The 340B Prime Vendor
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) signed a
competitively- awarded agreement with HealthCare Purchasing Partners
International (HPPI) to be the Prime Vendor for the entities participating
in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The prime vendor negotiates for
the covered entities so they can obtain greater price reductions
than required by the statutory pricing formula. Any 340B covered
entity may participate in the program using its existing drug distributor.
Eligible safety-net providers seeking to join the Prime Vendor should
contact the Prime Vendor's website at www.340bpvp.com
or by telephone at 888-340-2787.
3. From a Drug Wholesaler
Most clinics purchase drugs through one of three major wholesalers:
Amerisource Bergen, Cardinal Distribution or McKesson. Medpin does
not endorse or encourage participation in any one of these wholesalers.
Rather, Medpin encourages each clinic to conduct additional research
on its own before choosing which wholesaler or manufacturer to work
with based on the clinic's particular situation. Medpin also recommends
that each clinic periodically review and reassess its choice of
wholesaler and buying group.
- AmerisourceBergen Corporation
AmerisourceBergen supplies all outpatient pharmaceuticals except
vaccines at 340B pricing. Payment and order terms vary. Upcharges
are dependent on monthly volume. Prices are communicated through
an electronic ordering system. AmerisourceBergen provides other
pharmacy support services for an additional fee.
For more information: http://www.amerisourcebergen.com/cp/1/index.jsp
- Cardinal Health
Cardinal Health supplies outpatient pharmaceuticals at 340B pricing.
In addition, Cardinal Health offers a unit-of-use medication program,
PatientPAK-340B, to improve the efficiency of community
health centers by eliminating the need to pour, count and package
each prescription. PatientPAK-340B supplies some of the
most commonly dispensed medications in patient-ready units that
have been prepackaged in the most frequently prescribed quantities.
Cardinal Health developed the program through an exclusive agreement
with Dispensing Solutions, Inc (DSI) of Santa Anna, Calif. Under
the agreement, DSI, an FDA registered manufacturer, provides repackaging
services and eDispense, DSI's proprietary web-based dispensing
For more information:
The Texas Association of Community Health Centers (see below)
endorses and co-markets the program to eligible covered entities.
McKesson supplies medications and provides a wide range of pharmacy
For more information, visit http://www.mckesson.com/prim_care.html
4. From a buying group connected with
- Texas Association of Community Health
Centers (TACHC) / 340Better Pharmacy Program
The 340Better Pharmacy Program, targeted to community health centers,
was developed and is operated by the Texas Association of Community
Health Centers (TACHC). Cardinal Health Pharmaceutical Distribution
works with the TACHC organization as the distributor of pharmaceuticals.
FQHCs, FQHCLAs, county clinics, urban Indian and tribal programs
can all purchase through this program. The pricing schedule is
based on group volume, not an individual centers' volume. Contract
pricing is locked in for at least one calendar year. The full
340B portfolio of drugs are available. There is no minimum order
For more information:
- Minnesota Multi-state Contracting Alliance
for Pharmacy (MMCAP)
MMCAP does currently negotiate some sub-ceiling 340B prices for
its members. In addition, MMCAP negotiates contracts for
vaccines and medical supplies, two items that are not covered
under the 340B Drug Pricing Program. MMCAP facilities that
are eligible for the 340B program are encouraged to participate
(with the exception of disproportionate share hospitals, which
by law cannot participate in both the 340B program and a group
purchasing arrangement). For more information
and help determining if your facility is eligible for 340B, click
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