New deal brings drug discounts at clinics

Patients at Community Health Center and La Clinica health center can obtain many prescription drugs at a substantial discount through a new arrangement with a pharmacy distributor.

Discounts are provided by Wellpartner, a Portland-based enterprise that provides drugs to low-income and uninsured people through the federal government's "340 B" program. Discounts are available through Safeway pharmacies in Medford and Ashland and Cascade Pharmacy in White City. La Clinica patients can also fill prescriptions at Phoenix Pharmacy in Phoenix.

According to the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drugs, 340 B prices are 19 percent below Medicaid "best price," 39 percent below the average insurance reimbursement and 51 percent less than the average wholesale price.

The 340 B program was established by law in 1992 to allow qualifying providers to purchase drugs for outpatient use.

— Bill Kettler

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