Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Washington State to watch Medicaid drug use

The Seattle Times reports:

State Medicaid officials this summer will place a cap on the amounts and types of prescription narcotics and antidepressants that patients can receive without their doctors justifying it to officials.

It's a closely watched move aimed at curbing demand for the public health program's most abused — and costly — medications.

Starting Friday, Medicaid will stop covering all name-brand antidepressants, including Prozac, Zoloft and Celexa, without a doctor's express justification. Then on Sept. 1, physicians also will have to get approval before treating Medicaid patients with more than one similar antidepressant, even generics, beyond 68 days.

Related link:  Medical Assistance Administration, State of Washington

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