STATES FORM DRUG-BUYING COMPACT TO TRIM Rx PRICES
Medicaid officials in 3 stateshave received a green light fromthe federal government to form adrug-buying collaborative designedto negotiate lower prices frompharmaceutical manufacturers. Thenew Sovereign States Drug Consortiumcombines the drug-buyingpower of Maine, Vermont, and Iowain an effort to pressure 58 differentdrug makers to lower their priceson >1300 medications used byMedicaid patients. The system hasbeen in use in Maine for nearly ayear, and officials there said that itsMedicaid program has alreadysaved >$1 million.
A key element of the planinvolves limiting the role of pharmacybenefit managers to ensurethat all the negotiated savings arepassed on to the states. A group of7 other states has formed a similarbuying group called the NationalMedicaid Pooling Initiative, and officialsof additional state Medicaidprograms have expressed interestin forming similar consortia.