Medicaid and Drug Payments

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Joe Hodges was devastated when he found out his son could no longer get his psychiatric medication through the state’s Medicaid program because he hadn’t tried an alternative drug in the past year.

Joe Hodges says, “I can’t find the words. It hurts; he wants the best for himself. I’m his guardian and I have to make sure he gets it.”

Joe’s son John has lived in a group home since he was eight years old. Joe says he was responding well to the drug Topamax. Then the Legislature decided they could save some money by taking the drug off the preferred list for Medicaid patients. After being without the meds for three days, Joe says his son’s social worker had him committed to help him get the medication. Joe says the hospital bill will cost a lot more than the drug.

Joe says, "The medication is $300 a month and he needs it. I hope the governor and the Legislature find another way and means of paying the state.”

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration came up with the plan in order to get lower prices for prescription drugs and to save taxpayer money.

Jonathan Burns, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration spokesperson, says, “We’re the biggest purchaser of health care services in the state. We have an obligation to get the best deal we can.”

Joe Hodges says the problem is that his son has tried many other medications and nothing has worked. He doesn’t want John to suffer because bureaucrats in Tallahassee are trying to save a few bucks.