With these words, Pastor Brian Wiele spoke on behalf of the Epilepsy Foundation Northwest at a public hearing on Wednesday. He was expressing concerns with a proposed rule that will further limit the brands of prescription drugs that will be covered by Medicaid. The Health Care Authority proposal is very controversial and has evoked emotional testimony from a number of patient organizations at previous Drug Utilization Review Board meetings.
Mr. Wiele, who has an epileptic child, respectfully requested that Anti-Epileptic Drugs be excluded from the proposal. He stressed the importance of permitting doctors to choose the drug that is right for their patients without having to go through alternatives. Studies have shown that limiting choice in these cases does not really save money when other costs are taken into account.
Jeff Rochon, CEO of the Washington State Pharmacy Association, questioned the logic in setting up a second process that doctors will have to follow if they wish to prescribe a drug that is not on the approved list. There is already a different process for drugs not on the existing Preferred Drug List.
The goal of the proposed rule is to expand the use of cheaper generic drugs where quality and safety are not an issue. It is one of many strategies being established by the Health Care Authority to reduce the escalating cost of Medicaid.
For further information on this proposal, go to http://www.rx.wa.gov/ptmtgschedule12.html .