AHF Rolls Out National TV Ad Campaign to Preserve 340B Discount Drug Program

As new ad campaign to save 340B program rolls out in eight media
markets around the US, advocates cite Harris Poll showing only 1 in 10
Americans think the drug industry is “…honest and trustworthy.”

The 340B discount drug program requires drug manufacturers to provide
outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations/covered entities
at significantly reduced prices. 340B enables covered entities to
stretch scarce Federal resources as far as possible, reaching more
patients with more services.

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As part of a nationwide advocacy campaign to preserve the government’s
340B discount drug pricing program from ongoing and aggressive attacks
by the pharmaceutical industry, PhRMA
(Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) and its
lobbyists, AIDS
Healthcare Foundation
(AHF) is rolling out a new national public
awareness/TV ad campaign that highlights the critical importance of the
340B program to HIV/AIDS and other patients. The campaign is intended to
persuade Congress to maintain this crucial public health program as well
as to embarrass and shame the drug industry and its lobbyists into stop
trying to gut 340B.


AHF’s national 340B TV ad campaign launched last week with an initial
television spot titled, ‘I
Count,
’ which offers emotional firsthand testimony from a number of
HIV/AIDS and other patients who obtain their lifesaving medicines
through medical and pharmacy providers participating in 340B, like AIDS
Healthcare Foundation’s own AHF
Pharmacy
.

The 340B TV spot, which is running on FOX and CNN outlets, will run for
six weeks in key congressional districts in eight media markets
nationwide in states where key members of the House
Energy & Commerce Committee
, which
oversees HRSA (and, ultimately 340B) reside and represent constituents.
Markets where the TV spot is running include: Kalamazoo, MI
(Congressman Fred Upton, Chair of Energy & Commerce); Lancaster,
PA
(Congressman Joe Pitts); Arlington, TX (Congressman Joe
Barton); New Port Richey, FL (Congressman Gus Bilirakis); Spokane,
WA
(Congress Member Cathy Rodgers); Franklin, TN (Congress
Member Marsha Blackburn); Henderson, KY (Congressman Ed
Whitfield) and Harrisburg, IL (Congressman John Shimkus).

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA), the 340B
discount drug pricing program
, which was created by Congress in 1992,
“…requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible
health care organizations/covered entities at significantly reduced
prices. The 340B Program enables covered entities to stretch scarce
Federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients
and providing more comprehensive services.”

“Despite the fact that 340B represents only two percent of drug
purchases nationwide, the pharmaceutical industry has repeatedly tried
to gut this prudent and highly effective public health program,” said Michael
Weinstein
, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Through our new
TV ad campaign, the compelling stories of patients who get their
medications through 340B are told firsthand, with individuals telling
both their own stories as well as the bigger story that 340B works and
doesn’t need fixing or tinkering. In fact, if 340B is cut or if
eligibility is reduced or scaled back, more people will turn to the
government for help.”

In mid-May of this year drug industry lobbyists tried—unsuccessfully—to
insert language in the 21st
Century Cures Act
that would have drastically limited participation
in 340B by safety net providers like AHF.

However, drug pricing advocates and patients who obtain their
medications through 340B programs like AHF and other 340B program
participants successfully pressed members of Congress, including Fred
Upton
(R, MI, 6th District), chairman of the Energy &
Commerce Committee, and Joe
Pitts
(R, PA 16th District) to block the industry’s move.

“Some members of Congress and the Obama administration in general seem
to be more concerned about what pharma thinks than in looking out for
their own constituents as well as for safety net providers and their
patients,” said Michelle Morgan, AHF’s Director of National
Advocacy Campaigns, who spearheaded a protest to oppose changes to 340B
that was held in front of PhRMA’s Washington headquarters earlier today.
“340B is under constant assault from the industry, which will not stop
until it has killed or severely handicapped this program. This is why we
are mounting an all out nationwide media and advocacy campaign: to
demonstrate the success of 340B in order to preserve and protect this
critical program.”

Harris Poll: Only 1 in 10 Americans Thinks
Pharma Is “…Honest and Trustworthy.”

And from the
industry that brazenly put the word ‘Integrity’ in the name of its
pharmaceutical advocacy coalition, a 2013
Harris Poll
revealed: “Just one in ten (Americans) say they think
… pharma and drug companies (10%) … are generally honest and
trustworthy.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
492,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.

Contacts

AIDS Healthcare FoundationAIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged
Kenslea

Senior Director, Communications,
+1.323.308.1833
work
+1.323.791.5526 mobile
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Christopher
Johnson

Associate Director of Communications
+1.323.960.4846
work
+1.310.880.9913 mobile
christopher.johnson@aidshealth.org