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LETTER: Big Pharma's greed

LETTER: Big Pharma's greed

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CHRISTINE KEMP

CEO, Peoples Community Health Clinic

WATERLOO -- As our country faces a public health and looming economic crisis, access to affordable prescription drugs is crucial. Unfortunately, as drug prices continue to rise, the pharmaceutical industry is attempting to dismantle one program that ensures access to low-cost medications -- the 340B drug program.

Community health centers, like Peoples Community Health Clinic, and other safety net providers utilize the 340B program to provide affordable, lifesaving prescription drugs, and quality health services. In recent weeks, more pharmaceutical companies have targeted this program to increase their own profits.

In Iowa, 93% of community health center patients live in poverty and face barriers to care. Other patients live in rural areas where local access to pharmaceuticals is challenging. We need to make sure prescription drugs are affordable and accessible to avoid poor health outcomes. Without access to medications, some patients would end up in the emergency room or with unnecessary hospitalizations.

Without the 340B program, our community faces dire consequences including higher drug prices and decreased access to quality health services. The 340B program is a lifeline for many Iowans, and access to affordable prescription drugs should not be compromised due to corporate greed.

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