The Thomas D. Boyer Liver Institute at the University of Arizona, in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Health Services, has received formal designation from the Center for Disease Control as a participant of the 340B Drug Pricing Program. This special designation benefits Southern Arizona patients living with Hepatitis C and their providers by increasing access to services and discounted prescription drugs.
Hepatitis C, a chronic blood-borne infection, requires ongoing medication, and that medication is expensive. This is especially challenging in Southern Arizona, which lacks specialty providers that can offer discounted medications. The Liver Institute's Hepatitis C Treatment Program (HCTP) pursued this special designation to fill a desperate need in the community by offering patients discounted prescription drugs and other services.
"In eliminating challenges for patients to access routine treatment, the Hep C Treatment Program team will be able to identify barriers to care and offer patients a tailored package of services that will support patients," said Juanita L. Merchant, MD, PhD, Acting Director of the Thomas D. Boyer Liver Institute and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “The Boyer Institute staff are enthusiastic about offering a service that will reduce some of the treatment barriers encountered during the course of eradicating the Hepatitis C virus.”
The 340B program is considered one of the most effective health care programs in the U.S., enabling significant cost savings and revenue generation for health centers that can be translated into services for patients. These services include providing medications at free or reduced-cost. With 340B designation, the HCTP will provide coordinated and affordable medical services to patients living with Hepatitis C in Arizona. This includes intake services, health education efforts, care coordination, and medical transportation for patients to ease their access to treatment. Under the designation, the HCTP will also support Hepatitis C specialized outpatient medical care and financial assistance for cost-prohibitive medical services including outpatient visits, lab/radiology, immunizations and medications.