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Preferred drug lists: Potential impact on healthcare economics

Authors Ovsag K, Hydery S, Mousa SA

Published 11 April 2008 Volume 2008:4(2) Pages 403—413

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S926


Kimberly Ovsag, Sabrina Hydery, Shaker A Mousa

Pharmaceutical Research Institute at Albany College of Pharmacy, Albany, New York, USA

Objectives: To analyze the implementation of Medicaid preferred drug lists (PDLs) in a number of states and determine its impact on quality of care and cost relative to other segments of healthcare.

Methods: We reviewed research and case studies found by searching library databases, primarily MEDLINE and EBSCOHost, and searching pertinent journals. Keywords initially included “drug lists,” “prior authorization,” “prior approval,” and “Medicaid.” We added terms such as “influence use of other healthcare services,” “quality of care,” and “overall economic impact.” We mainly used primary sources.

Results: Based on our literature review, we determined that there are a number of issues regarding Medicaid PDLs that need to be addressed. Some issues include: (a) the potential for PDLs to influence the utilization of other healthcare services, (b) criteria used by Medicaid for determining acceptance of drugs onto a PDL, (c) the effect of PDL implementation on compliance to new regimens, (d) the potential effects of restricting medication availability on quality of care, (e) administrative costs associated with PDLs, and (f) satisfaction rates among patients and medical providers. This review highlighted expected short-term cost savings with limited degree of compromised quality of PDL implementation, but raised the concern about the potential long-term decline in quality of care and overall economic impact.

Conclusions: The number of concerns raised indicates that further studies are warranted regarding both short-term cost benefits as well as potential long-term effects of Medicaid PDL implementation. Objective analysis of these effects is necessary to ensure cost-effectiveness and quality of care.

Keywords: preferred drug lists, medicaid, healthcare costs, managed care

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