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UPDATE: New Infographics Depict Slow COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout in Arkansas

January 21, 2021

Author

Elizabeth (Izzy) Montgomery, MPA
Policy Analyst
501-526-2244
efmontgomery@achi.net

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The federal 340B Drug Pricing Program requires prescription drug manufacturers to provide drugs to certain healthcare organizations at heavily reduced prices as a condition of having their products covered by Medicaid. The program is intended to stretch federal resources as far as possible, expand access to prescription drugs for vulnerable populations, and protect clinics and hospitals from drug price increases.

Our new explainer looks at the history of the program, breaks down how it works, and notes relevant policy issues, including debates over:

  • How much financial benefit hospitals should receive under the program.
  • How the program impacts hospitals serving high proportions of low-income patients.
  • Whether the program should apply to drugs for low-income patients who are ineligible for Medicaid because they live in states that have rejected Medicaid expansion.
  • Whether there is sufficient transparency around the process.

The second infographic, “Federally Allocated Vaccines Administered in Arkansas” shows the day-to-day trend of the running total of vaccine doses allocated and administered through the Long-Term Care Federal Program. “Total Doses Allocated” represents the number of vaccine doses that have been set aside for residents and staff of long-term care (LTC) facilities participating in the federal program. “Total Doses Administered” represents the number of vaccine doses that have actually been given to LTC facility residents and staff.

As we noted in a previous blog post, the federal government partnered with CVS and Walgreens to manage vaccine distribution to LTC facilities that chose to participate in the program. About 40% of the state’s LTC facilities chose to contract with the two large pharmacy retailers to vaccinate their residents and staff. As the second infographic shows, the state has been allocated a total of 49,400 vaccine doses through the federal program. As of Jan. 4, 5.4% of those vaccine doses had been administered to residents and staff of participating LTC facilities. As of Wednesday, the percentage had increased to 13.8%.