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Thu Sep 29, 2016, 02:47 AM

Spending soars on medication at New Mexico state agencies

SANTA FE Spending on prescription medication by New Mexico state agencies is rising quickly as insurance coverage expands under Medicaid and demands for specialty drugs are met for everyone from prison inmates to retired state workers, a new study by the state Legislature has found.

Staff of the Legislative Finance Committee announced study results Wednesday showing that state agencies spent $680 million on prescription drugs during the most recent budget year, an increase of 54 percent from two years earlier.

The trend puts New Mexico in line with a nationwide pattern of significantly expanded spending on prescription drugs, state Program Evaluator Jenny Felmley told lawmakers gathered in Santa Fe.

Much of the spending increase can be attributed to New Mexico's rapid expansion of Medicaid health coverage for the poor and disabled. Medicaid costs are paid for largely by the federal government. Increased state spending also was linked to brand drugs and high-priced specialty drugs for complex conditions and rare diseases.

Read more: http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/2016/09/28/spending-soars-medication-nm-state-agencies/91250594/

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