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Question of the Week — Should the government pay for automatically refilled prescriptions?

Posted  December 13, 2018

This week, Target agreed to pay $3 million to resolve a former pharmacist’s whistleblower suit alleging Target submitted false claims by violating Massachusetts Medicaid rules barring claims for automatic prescription refills. Under the state’s rule, pharmacies are prohibited from billing Medicaid for refills dispensed without a patient request.

As pharmacy costs continue to rise, more state Medicaid programs are refusing to pay for automatically refilled drugs. In addition to Massachusetts, at least 20 other state Medicaid programs have implemented similar bans. These rules are meant to curb inappropriate prescription drug use and reduce wasted refills that benefit pharma at taxpayers’ expense.

Auto-refill proponents, on the other hand, argue the programs improve patient adherence, especially among those with chronic diseases.

Should the government pay for automatically refilled prescriptions?

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