A group representing more than 1,000 hospitals and health systems has given the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, and Crystal Starlin, CCMH Pharmacy Director, a prestigious award for their outstanding leadership in promoting and advocating on behalf of the federal 340B Drug Pricing Program.
The group, 340B Health, gave the hospital and Starlin the annual “340B Champion Award” in Washington, D.C., on July 13th during a national conference on the 340B program attended by more than 1,400 healthcare professionals and others.
Crystal Starlin, Pharm D, CCMH Pharmacy Director, accepts an award for the340B Drug Pricing Program from Ted Slafsky, 340B President and CEO.
Named for the section of the Public Health Service Act that established it, the 340B program requires pharmaceutical manufacturers and biotech companies to give discounts on outpatient medications to hospitals, community health centers, and other healthcare facilities serving large low-income and vulnerable populations. Those healthcare providers use the money they save to serve more patients and provide more comprehensive services.
340B Health chose Starlin for the award on the basis of her advocacy of 340B, including a March 4, 2015 op-ed she wrote for the Atlantic News Telegraph. In that article, Starlin observed that Cass County Memorial Hospital uses 340B savings to provide medications to needy patients; to help support a pharmacy in Anita; and to sustain its inpatient psychiatric unit (one of only 14 in Iowa). Starlin also is a leading advocate of the 340B program on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
As Biopharmaceutical manufacturers are lobbying Congress to scale back the 340B program dramatically, officials say advocacy such as Crystal’s will be important for ensuring the continuation of the 340B program.