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» Glossary

What are the options for purchasing 340B drugs?

Clinics have several options for purchasing 340B Drugs:

  • 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 below.

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:

  • 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 technology.

    For more information:
    http://www.cardinal.com/index.asp or

    The Texas Association of Community Health Centers (see below) endorses and co-markets the program to eligible covered entities.

  • McKesson
    McKesson supplies medications and provides a wide range of pharmacy support services.

    For more information, visit http://www.mckesson.com/prim_care.html

4. From a buying group connected with a wholesaler

  • 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 required.

    For more information: http://www.tachc.org/340Better/

  • 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 here.


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