Following the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Ian, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has expedited 340B program enrollment for Florida and South Carolina. Both states were designated as public health emergencies (PHEs) due to the hurricane's extensive damage, which included flooding and widespread power outages over two days.
Florida received its PHE status from U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra on September 26, while South Carolina's declaration came on September 30. This means that qualifying entities in these states can access the 340B program without the usual wait for the quarterly registration. This provision will last as long as the PHE declarations are active in these regions.
The Office of Pharmacy Affairs, under HRSA, emphasized the need for adaptability during disaster recovery. They expressed confidence that this move would support affected residents by allowing eligible entities to cater to their medical needs more effectively.
The trajectory of Hurricane Ian saw it hitting Florida's southwest coast as a formidable Category 4 storm. It then traversed the state, regained momentum over the Atlantic, and impacted South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane before being reclassified as a post-tropical cyclone.
Dr. Pamela Roberts, COO of PharmcoRx Pharmacy, highlighted the significance of this decision for Florida's healthcare sector. She stated, "This swift action in the 340B program enrollment is pivotal. It ensures that we remain equipped to offer vital medications and care to our community during such adversities."