340B Health

Faces of 340B

PAGE SMITH, 340B PROGRAM DIRECTOR, BANNER HEALTH, AZ

The connection between the 340B drug pricing program and scorpions might not be a natural one for an outsider to make. But the health professionals at Arizona-based Banner Health know how important the former can be for someone who has an unfortunate run-in with the latter.

In the southwest U.S., patients experiencing stings from poisonous bark scorpions can be a common occurrence, explains Page Smith, the 340B program director for Banner Health. For young children, elderly individuals, and other potentially compromised patients coming to the emergency department after such stings, the antivenom medication Anascorp can significantly reduce potentially serious complications. The medication is very expensive, but 340B allows Banner facilities to offset the cost of providing it to uninsured and underinsured patients who otherwise cannot afford it.

Subsidizing the cost of this highly specialized treatment is just one of the many ways in which Banner relies on its 340B savings to provide the care the people in its communities need. Program savings allow the larger Banner facilities to offer a wide range of needed services, and they help some of the critical access facilities in more rural areas stay open and operating.