HHS to state Medicaid programs: Offer more generic drugs

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging state governments to save money with generic drugs.

In a document released Thursday, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged all 50 state governors to increase the use of generic drugs in their state Medicaid programs.

“By managing pharmacy benefits like other, more successful programs, governors can cut billions in Medicaid without cutting benefits to patients or payments to doctors and hospitals,” said Mark Merritt, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a trade group representing the pharmacy benefit management industry.

The group said the next step would be for state Medicaid programs to stop paying pharmacies more than Medicare and other programs.

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