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Louisiana News

Officials: Spending On Medicaid Drugs Follows Industry Norm

Eric Hunsaker /

Louisiana health officials are skeptical the state could save sizable sums of money by reworking the way it runs the prescription drug program for Medicaid patients.

State Medicaid Director Jen Steele and Jeff Reynolds, the health department's chief financial officer, responded to questions Tuesday from a legislatively created study group.

Steele said the method Louisiana uses to pay for Medicaid prescription drugs is an industry standard and administrative costs are capped.

The study group, among other things, is digging into the prices charged by Medicaid managed-care companies for prescription drugs as it looks for ways to contain costs in a Medicaid program that costs $12.5 billion this year.

Lawmakers and others on the panel questioned whether the medication charges have been marked up to help boost profits for private companies.