Special session: Preferred drug list approved
The Assembly has given final legislative approval to SB4 which will allow creation of a preferred drug list for anti-psychotic, anti-diabetic and anti-convulsant drugs.
The state already has most pharmaceuticals on a preferred drug list and Health Care Financing and Policy Administrator Chuck Duarte said that has saved the state’s Medicaid program more than $13 million since it was implemented in 2004.
For certain classes of drugs, however, there has been resistance to the program from people who fear it would deny them the specific drug which works best for them.
Duarte said the preferred list won’t deny anyone their current medication even if it’s not on the list because they will be grandfathered in. He said those with allergies or other problems with the preferred drug will also be able to get a different prescription.
The preferred list, he said, will save the state an estimated $760,000 this biennium both because they get a price break on the preferred drug and because companies on that list give the state a rebate for that status..
Three classes of drugs remain exempt form the preferred list: anti-rejection drugs, AIDS and HIV drugs and anti-hemophiliatic drugs.
The only issue raised by Assembly members was the decision to sunset the program at the end of this biennium. Duarte said the thinking was to give the final permanent decision to the regular session of the Legislature instead of the special session.
The vote was 41-0 with Elko Republican John Carpenter excused.