The COVID-19 pandemic rages on, half a million Hoosiers are out of work, and Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly has chosen this moment in history to end the company’s participation in the 340B Drug Pricing Program that provides affordable prescription drugs to low-income residents.
What was Lilly thinking? It’s hard to tell – the company didn’t respond to multiple requests for interviews.
But the medical professionals who are trying desperately to keep the poorest people in the country healthy say the company is attempting to recoup some of its profits from independent pharmacies, which sometimes offer their own discounts. They accuse drug manufacturers threatening to exit the 340B program of courting potential disaster.
The 340B program allows health centers to buy prescription drugs at discounted prices, at a time when the country’s health care system is struggling to provide basic care for patients with chronic conditions who need vital outpatient treatment.