Faces of 340B
Erin Monthei, Director of Pharmacy, St. Anthony Regional Hospital, Iowa
St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll, Iowa, is a sole community hospital (SCH) serving seven rural counties in the western part of the state. The hospital’s Pharmacy Director Erin Monthei explains how savings from the 340B drug pricing program enable the hospital to offer many specialized health care services such as cardiology, mental health, and cancer care that are not offered anywhere else in the communities the hospital serves. Without St. Anthony providing these services, some patients would have to travel 90 miles to a large city for their care. One of the many St. Anthony patients benefiting from 340B is a patient with a rare kidney disease. The hospital is using its 340B savings to offset the $273,000 annual cost of the infusion drugs that the patient needs for his treatments. The patient’s condition is improving because of these treatments, and Erin says his care team is considering ending the infusions if he no longer requires them. St. Anthony’s partnerships with community pharmacies also are benefiting patient care. The hospital used the additional 340B savings it obtained from these partnerships to build a new cancer center that is larger and can serve more patients. This saves some patients receiving cancer treatments from the expense and hassle of taking an overnight trip for their care. However, drug company restrictions on 340B discounts for community pharmacy partnerships are limiting the resources the hospital can invest in its St. Anthony Cares program, a financial assistance initiative for patients with low incomes. If drug companies continue restricting 340B discounts, Erin is concerned that fewer patients will receive the financial support they need to afford their health care. Watch the video until the very end for a special moment!