The 340B Coalition Summer Conference is off to a great start as attendees and exhibitors explore the virtual Pathable platform for another event in the time of COVID-19. The conference is being held over a two week period with week one held on July 20th through the 22nd and week two from July 27th to the 28th. The coalition event is designed to provide attendees with the information needed to adapt to the changing environment of 340B and maintain fully compliant programs for hospitals, health centers, or clinics. Speakers hail from across the country and are leaders from government, healthcare settings, and exhibiting vendors.
This year marks the 25th annual summer meeting and has been an incredible reminder of the tenacity of our healthcare systems during the pandemic. Maureen Testoni serves as the President and CEO of 340B Health, which oversees the 340B Coalition. In her welcome remarks she states, “Amid this pandemic, 340B covered entities have had to deal with the unprincipled actions of a small but powerful group of drug companies. These companies decided to refuse to honor the discounts the law requires for drugs dispensed at contract pharmacies. Those are resources that could be going, and should be going toward more needed care for patients with low incomes and those living in rural communities.” Testoni reminds attendees that over 60 organizations called for action against this behavior by manufacturers and more than 50% of U.S. House members signed a letter calling for an end to drug company refusals to offer 340B pricing on drugs dispensed at contract pharmacies.
The welcoming remarks included an update from Rear Admiral Krista Pedley. Pedley is the Director of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA). She begins her address with a thank you to healthcare workers and their actions during COVID-19. She states, “HRSA remains providing the utmost flexibility to the fullest extent possible to all stakeholders. To ensure integrity, I continue to encourage entities to document as much as possible. Outline your unique situations and how you follow the statute, guidance, and regulations in your policy and procedures. It is also critical to have a system in place to track every purchase of a 340B drug to an eligible patient.” Pedley goes on to update on HRSA Audits and shares that entities are selected with a risk-based selection method with an expected 200 audits to be completed in the next year.
Week one featured a keynote address from Dr. Syra Madad, Senior Director of the System-wide Special Pathogens Program at NYC Health + Hospitals. The session titled, “The Role of Healthcare Professionals in Pandemic Response & How to Better Prepare for the Future” focused on pandemic evolution and enhancing bio-preparedness programs. Dr. Madad started her address by reminding attendees that, “There are two certainties in life: Number one is that incidents will occur. Number two is that patients will present.” She continued to address the movement from conventional capacity to crisis capacity and how lack of preparedness created contamination issues for covered entities in the early phases of COVID-19. She reminds attendees that there are different epidemics happening every day, whether that be suicide or gun violence, and that the time to develop a strategy is ahead of the crisis situation.
Week two will bring another round of incredible sessions and will include a speaker from our Hudson Headwaters 340B Team. Stephanie Willis, Marketing Specialist, will present during Lessons from the Field Part 6 on Wednesday, July 28th at 3pm. The session will focus on how to find points of optimization through your audit checklist. The week will also include a plenary session
Each session of the conference has provided education, insight, and actionable takeaways for developing and managing compliant 340B programs. The Hudson Headwaters 340B team remains dedicated to helping covered entities address the requirements and recommendations of 340B program participation and is ready to engage with attendees in the virtual exhibit hall. To schedule a time to speak with Jim or Steph please stop by the booth or email info@Hudson340B.com.