Don’t Stop Discount Prescriptions

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Don’t Stop Discount Prescriptions

Community health centers such as First Choice Health Centers in East Hartford, Manchester and Vernon provide consistent, preventive care that keeps people healthy and productive, regardless of ability to pay. We keep our patients from making costly emergency room visits for non-emergency issues, and provide cost-effective behavioral health, primary care and dental care.

One vital federal program, in particular — known as the 340B Drug Discount Program — makes prescription medications available to our centers and patients at deep discounts. This program does not cost the federal or state government any money — drug manufacturers sell the medications to eligible health centers at a substantial savings, and those savings are reinvested in programs and services.

Distressingly, Congress is threatening to eliminate or significantly curtail the 340B program. At a time when the need for reliable, comprehensive community health services is greater than ever, this could have a devastating impact on those who can afford it the least.

Losing vital federal legislative support for the 340B Drug Discount Program would give us one more unnecessary obstacle to overcome. Congress needs to do the right thing and protect this valuable program.

Eugene Market, East Hartford

The writer is president and CEO of First Choice Health Centers.

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