1. Department: HBC

Exclusive: Five Pharmacy Chains and PBMs Dominate 2022’s Still-Booming 340B Contract Pharmacy Market

Despite what you may have heard, pharmacy participation in the 340B Drug Pricing Program continues to thrive.

Drug Channels Institute’s latest analysis reveals that an astonishing 32,000 pharmacy locations—more than half of the entire U.S. pharmacy industry—now act as contract pharmacies for the hospitals and other healthcare providers that participate in the 340B program. Over the past 12 months, the number of pharmacies in the program has grown by more than 2,000 locations.

What’s more, five multi-billion-dollar, for-profit, publicly traded pharmacy chains and PBMs—CVS Health, Walgreens, Cigna (via Express Scripts), UnitedHealth Group (via OptumRx), and Walmart—account for three-quarters of all 340B contract pharmacy relationships with covered entities. Is this really what Congress intended when the 340B program was established in 1992?

Manufacturers’ contract pharmacy restrictions have slowed the out-of-control program growth—with some unanticipated benefits for the biggest players. Read on for details and my commentary below.

For more on 340B and the specialty market, join me for my upcoming July 29 live video webinar, Specialty Drugs Update: Trends, Controversies, and Outlook.

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