AHRQ report shows Medicaid Rx spending doubled

May 1, 2006

The launch of many brand-name drugs and an increased volume ofprescriptions written for Medicaid enrollees between 1997 and 2002were responsible for a doubling of Medicaid expenditures duringthis time period, according to a new report from the Agency forHealthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ). At the same time, the useof generics fell from 47% to 44%.

The launch of many brand-name drugs and an increased volume of prescriptions written for Medicaid enrollees between 1997 and 2002 were responsible for a doubling of Medicaid expenditures during this time period, according to a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ). At the same time, the use of generics fell from 47% to 44%. According to the findings, spending increased the most for psychotherapeutic drugs, with usage of antidepressants rising 130%, to $1.91 billion. Antipsychotics were the second largest expenditure and the fastest-growing class of drugs, going up 154%, to $1.68 billion. The report will be published as a supplement in the May 2006 issue of Medical Care.

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