Many States Weigh Drug Benefit Cuts For Medicaid

MANAGED CARE February 2003. ©MediMedia USA

Although prescription drug spending was only 14 percent of total Medicaid spending in 2002, that’s the place where states are looking to save money to shore up growing deficits in their budgets.

“I think it’s fair to say almost all 50 states will consider some aspect of this issue,” Richard Cauchi, the health care program manager at the National Conference of State Legislatures, tells Reuters.

In an NCSL survey, 44 states say that they’ll consider policies to control Medicaid spending in upcoming legislative sessions.

One policy getting a lot of attention is the establishment of preferred drug lists and mandating that physicians seek approval before prescribing certain medications.