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Drug list savings not as much as expected

Drug list savings not as much as expected



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Medicaid's new list of preferred drugs has saved Utah money, but not as much as expected.

The list aims to curb Medicaid costs by identifying the best drugs and then negotiating the amounts with manufacturers.

Health officials in Utah say the list saved nearly $546,000 in the first year, about $2.75 million less than Utah Department of Health's original estimates.

David Sundwall, the department's director, blamed the difference on last minute changes to the law which weakened its effectiveness.

Michael Hales, director of the Division of Health Care Financing, told lawmakers on Wednesday that there's another factor: the classes of drugs covered in the list were phased in over several months.

Next year, he projects Utah's Medicaid program will save about $1.2 million.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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