California state Sen. Ben Hueso ( D-Chula Vista ) has asked state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate if the AIDS Healthcare Foundation ( AHF ) is fraudulently misusing savings from 340Ba federal drug-discount program designed to help poor patients, Politico reported.
The program allows providers such as AHF to purchase drugs at a steep discount from pharmaceutical companies; said providers can then turn around and charge public programs like Medicaid and Medicare for the standard amount. However, none of the savings garnered from 340B can be used for lobbying or any kind of political expenses.
Hueso's letter, from June 13, stated, "In 2006, AHF's revenue was about $72 million, and in the organization's most recent audited financial statement, AHF reported pharmacy revenue in excess of $1 billion. What is unknown is how much revenue comes from the 340B program."
AHF spokesperson Ged Kenslea said the 340B savings are used for patient care, HIV and other sexually-transmitted disease prevention efforts.
In Chicago, AHF is partnering with South Side Help Center, and has wellness centers at 2600 S. Michigan Ave., 1515 E. 52nd Pl. and 3311 N. Halsted St. ( No similar investigations of AHF are taking place in Illinois. )
The Politico item is at www.politico.com/states/california/story/2019/08/19/powerhouse-aids-organization-faces-scrutiny-for-use-of-federal-money-1147976 .