Groups unsure about state drug plan changes

Aug 12, 2012

Louisiana's health agency must save $56 million on drugs for Medicaid patients to help balance the state budget, but doesn't yet have a final plan for doing that.

A top aide to health Secretary Bruce Greenstein say the changes will take effect Oct. 1, and emergency rules will be published in September.

Legislators, pharmacy interests and others tell The Advocate they are concerned about the lack of transparency and what they call a rush to make changes that need caution to avoid damaging health care. Consumer groups worry about restricted drug access.

State Sen. Fred Mills, a Republican from New Iberia, says the department is creating an emergency.

Greenstein assistant Calder Lynch said delays will only hurt the agency's ability to make the savings the budget demands.