Advocates oppose the introduction of H.R. 4710.
HIV patients and advocates are protesting Congressman Scott Peters on Thursday, February 22, because they feel he is “heartlessly attacking the life-saving 340B drug program.”
The 340B program was created in 1992 and requires drug makers to give prescription drugs to healthcare organizations at deeply reduced prices.
Many have denounced Peters’ introduction of federal legislation that would, “severely curtail nonprofit hospitals’ participation in a federally-administered drug discount program that costs the government and taxpayers nothing, and which was specifically created to extend the lifeline of care and services that safety net hospitals and providers are able to deliver. Peters, a San Diego Democrat, co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN).”
Peters introduced H.R. 4710 this past December which stops additional hospitals from participating in the 340B drug pricing discount program.
Peters has refuted claims that he is trying to put an end to the program and that the two-year moratorium proposed by H.R. 4710 is to make sure hospitals, "who participate in the program are getting these critical, discounted drugs to the people for whom they’re intended."
But protestors think this "temporary pause" is more harmful in the long run.
“Congressman Peters has taken well over $100,000 from pharma and biotech companies during his tenure in Congress, placing drug company profits over the health and well-being of his own constituents,” said Tracy Jones, National Director of Advocacy Campaigns for AHF last year. “His bill will make it much harder for nonprofit hospitals to participate in a program that provides more care—and costs the federal government nothing—in order to make his pharma donors and friends richer. Peters’ bill strangles hospitals with useless red tape, which will undoubtedly mean they will use the program less. Peters all but introduced this bill under cover of darkness on the Friday right before the Christmas holiday. He's the Grinch who gave America a lump of coal, and drug companies even more money on top of their fat tax cut.”
The "Gather and Protest" is on Thursday, February 22 at 10:30 am in front of Scott Peters' office located at 4350 Executive Drive, San Diego 92121