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Florida limits some Medicaid drugs

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Aug 05, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Five common drugs are being restricted to Medicaid patients in Florida where officials say they are trying to cut down on overuse.

Doctors and patients, however, countered the prescriptions are appropriate for good healthcare, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Thursday.

Florida looks to save about $21 million of the state's $2.2 billion annual Medicaid pharmacy budget by restricting five expensive drugs, the Sun-Sentinel said. The state has stopped paying for Neurontin, a nerve medicine; Zyprexa, a mental-illness drug, and three COX II pain revivers.

Doctors can still prescribe the drugs but insurers can refuse to pay for so-called off-label uses, such as extra doses or treatments the manufacturers did not intend the drug for.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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