Health Care Advocates Rip Brownback’s Prescription Drug Plan

(AP) – Health care advocates in Kansas are strongly criticizing a proposal from Republican Gov. Sam Brownback for decreasing prescription drug costs for the state’s Medicaid program.
They told the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday that the governor’s proposal could deny needed medications to people with chronic conditions and severe mental illnesses.
The committee took testimony on a bill eliminating the state’s ban on so-called step therapy with prescriptions in the Medicaid program.
In step therapy, patients are required to try less-expensive drugs first and have the treatment fail before obtaining more expensive prescriptions. Supporters say allowing Medicaid to use step therapy makes sense.
Brownback’s administration projects savings of nearly $11 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The state must close a projected $190 million budget shortfall.

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