Grassley calls for tougher oversight of federal drug discount program

The 340B program is receiving increased scrutiny because the healthcare reform law expands it to more types of hospitals. The program enables safety-net providers like federally qualified health centers to buy outpatient drugs at a steep discount, even below the regular Medicaid discounted rate.

"This program is growing in popularity," Grassley said. "That will only increase under the health care overhaul law, which increased eligibility. The federal government needs to get a handle on potential abuse before program growth gets out of hand, the taxpayers have to pay for it, and program sustainability is in question."