Medicaid officials in 3 states have received a green light from the federal government to form a drug-buying collaborative designed to negotiate lower prices from pharmaceutical manufacturers. The new Sovereign States Drug Consortium combines the drug-buying power of Maine, Vermont, and Iowa in an effort to pressure 58 different drug makers to lower their prices on >1300 medications used by Medicaid patients. The system has been in use in Maine for nearly a year, and officials there said that its Medicaid program has already saved >$1 million.
A key element of the plan involves limiting the role of pharmacy benefit managers to ensure that all the negotiated savings are passed on to the states. A group of 7 other states has formed a similar buying group called the National Medicaid Pooling Initiative, and officials of additional state Medicaid programs have expressed interest in forming similar consortia.
Although the annual HIV diagnosis rate between 2010 and 2014 decreased for black individuals by 16.2%, blacks remain disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.
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