340B Drug Pricing Program: The Expansion and Its Effect on Cancer Care

health policy, antineoplastic agents, outpatient clinics, oncology nursing
CJON 2019, 23(2), 217-219. DOI: 10.1188/19.CJON.217-219

The 340B Drug Pricing Program is a complex federal program that is intended to provide financial relief to hospitals that provide care to greater volumes of low-income, uninsured, and underinsured patients. The body of literature is growing on how cancer care has transformed since freestanding cancer hospitals became eligible for the 340B program. Currently, community oncology practices are not eligible for the 340B program.


  • The 340B Drug Pricing Program extends discounts on prescription medications delivered in the outpatient setting to eligible healthcare organizations.
  • The downstream effects of 340B expansion to an increasing number of hospitals include vertical integration, increased costs of biosimilars, and increasingly restrictive budgets in ineligible community-based practices.
  • Nurses are integral in advocating for policies that address the needs of patients with cancer across practice settings, particularly in contexts where the most vulnerable and underserved populations receive care.
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