August 23, 2005 11:58 ET

340B Prime Vendor Program Adds AstraZeneca to Growing List of Companies Providing Low-Cost Drugs to Clinics, Hospitals and Programs for Low-Income Americans

IRVING, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 23, 2005 -- The 340B Prime Vendor Program, managed by HealthCare Purchasing Partners International™ (HPPI), announced today that it has added AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals to its growing list of health care companies providing drugs, supplies and medical devices to clinics, hospitals and health care programs for low-income and uninsured Americans.

HPPI, a group purchasing organization co-owned by VHA Inc. and the University HealthSystem Consortium, signed AstraZeneca to the federal program that HPPI began managing exclusively in September 2004. The program, known as the 340B Prime Vendor Program, provides deep discounts on outpatient drug purchases to public hospitals, community health centers, clinics, state-operated AIDS drug assistance programs and other safety-net health care providers serving low income and uninsured patients.

AstraZeneca will provide Diprivan Injectable Emulsion, which is an IV sedative-hypnotic agent that can be used for both induction and maintenance of anesthesia as part of a balanced anesthetic technique for inpatient and outpatient surgery in adult patients and pediatric patients greater than three years of age. "We are pleased to add one of AstraZeneca's key hospital products to the 340B Prime Vendor Program," said Chris Hatwig, senior director of the Prime Vendor Program for HPPI. "This will provide significant savings to our safety-net institutions caring for the majority of low-income and uninsured."

340B Prime Vendor Program

The Prime Vendor Program was established to increase the discounts already offered under Section 340B of the U.S. Public Health Service Act, providing low-cost drugs to clinics, hospitals and programs for low-income Americans. 11,800 providers across the country qualify to participate in the discount program at no cost, and more than 1,600 facilities are currently enrolled. HealthCare Purchasing Partners International, an Irving, Texas-based health care group purchasing organization co-owned by VHA Inc. and the University HealthSystem Consortium, administers the program. Visit the Section 340B Prime Vendor Program website at for more information about the program.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international health care business engaged in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of health care services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with health care sales of over $21.4 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, oncology, and neuroscience products.

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