NACDS: Generics Could Ease Medicaid Squeeze

Published Online: Thursday, December 1, 2005

Citing figures from the NDC Health Pharmaceutical Audit, Craig Fuller, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), called on states to help resolve their Medicaid budget problems by placing more emphasis on cost-saving generic drugs. In an address to the Sixth Annual Generic Drugs Summit, Fuller noted that, by adopting policies that encourage the use of generics, some state Medicaid programs are reaping significant savings.

Although the national average Medicaid dispensing rate for generics is 51.9%, several states—including Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Alabama—now fill more than 59% of their Medicaid prescriptions with generics, Fuller said. On the other hand, generic use by the New Jersey Medicaid program is only 43.1%, and Louisiana uses generics in only 44.6% of Medicaid prescriptions.

Fuller voiced similar sentiments in response to pending federal legislation to reform Medicaid. "Any rational and meaningful reform of Medicaid's prescription drug program must recognize that one of the best ways to find significant savings is to increase generic drug utilization and address the true cost of Medicaid prescription drug spending," he said.

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