N.J. governor: Changing Medicaid Rx will help save $41 million

WASHINGTON — A group representing the nation's pharmacy benefit managers is responding to a proposal made by New Jersey governor Chris Christie that seeks to modernize the state's Medicaid program.

Christie said the proposed overhaul, which includes managing prescription drug benefits similarly to those in Medicare and private-sector programs, would save the state $41 million, “while still providing vital services,” the governor said.

In response, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association said that Gov. Christie's proposal is "right," as many state Medicaid programs "pay too much for prescription drugs because they use an archaic, fee-for-service approach in which state officials set payment rates and are therefore constantly lobbied to inflate them by special interests."

“By administering Medicaid drug benefits like those in Medicare, New Jersey will save millions without cutting benefits to those in need," said PCMA president and CEO Mark Merritt. "Currently, the program uses fewer generic drugs and pays more than either Medicare or private insurers. It’s time to modernize New Jersey’s Medicaid drug benefits and bring costs more in line with those of other programs.”

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