Medicaid Spending on Prescriptions Has Risen Despite Lower Utilization

Medicaid spending on prescription drugs has increased despite lower utilization of prescription medications, according to a KFF report based on data from 2016 to 2022. This is attributed to the continuous enrollment provision during the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to historic highs in Medicaid enrollment. However, despite the growth in enrollment, prescription drug utilization was lower in 2020 and 2022 compared to 2017. Despite the decrease in utilization, net spending on Medicaid prescription drugs increased to $43.8 billion in 2022 from $29.8 billion in 2017, with an increase in spending on high-cost brand drugs. Millions are expected to lose Medicaid coverage as states unwind the continuous enrollment provision, which could impact future drug utilization trends. efforts have been made to lower prescription drug costs at both the state and federal levels.

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