A federal study showed average payments by five state Medicaid programs for 189 prescription drugs in 2003 were 12% higher than the average manufacturer price, 36% higher than the lowest price offered and 73% higher than the federal supply schedule price. In response to the Government Accountability Office report, the CMS said Medicaid drug payments should be based on accurate acquisition-cost data, which requires congressional action. The GAO said Medicaid drug spending grew to $33.8 billion in federal fiscal 2003 from $4.6 billion in fiscal 1990. Read the GAO report. -- by Joseph Mantone
Medicaid programs overpaying for drugs: GAO report
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