Florida governor proposes Medicaid access only to cheap drugs
January 28 2005 1:00 AM ET
Florida governor Jeb Bush has proposed recommendations to replace the state's preferred drug list for the state's Medicaid program to require that all participants receive "the least expensive but still proven effective" drugs, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. The plan would include all HIV-positive people in the Medicaid program, who are currently exempted from the preferred drug list because they often need unique combinations of antiretroviral medications to effectively control their infections. If Bush's plan is approved, all HIV-positive Medicaid enrollees could be forced to switch to the cheapest possible anti-HIV cocktail, AIDS advocates worry. It's also possible newly approved anti-HIV drugs, which are often more expensive than existing medications, won't be available through the program. Alan Levin, secretary of the state's Agency for Health Care Administration, says there's "little choice" about whether to cut Medicaid drug spending because of rising health care costs and budget constraints.