Prescription Drugs

High rates of spending growth for prescription drugs have been of great concern to state and federal Medicaid officials. In 2014, Medicaid prescription drug spending experienced its highest rate of growth in almost three decades. And although spending growth slowed in 2015 and 2016, over the next 10 years prescription drugs could see the fastest average annual spending growth of any major health care good or service due to growth in high-cost specialty drugs.

Learn more about how Medicaid pays for outpatient prescription drugs, MACPAC's recommendations to improve the operations of the drug rebate program, and other issues by reading our featured publications.

Featured publications

Medicaid Drug Spending Trends

February 2019 |

In fiscal year (FY) 2017, Medicaid spent approximately $64.0 billion on outpatient prescription drugs and collected $34.9 billion in rebates, bringing net drug spending to $29.1 billion—or about 5.1 percent of total Medicaid benefit spending. This fact sheet lays out various trends in Medicaid prescription drug spending from FYs 2014 to 2017.

Improving Operations of the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program

June 2018 |

High rates of spending growth for prescription drugs have been of great concern to state and federal Medicaid officials. In 2014, Medicaid prescription drug spending experienced its highest rate of growth in almost three decades. And although spending growth slowed in 2015 and 2016, over the next 10 years prescription drugs could see the fastest […]
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Medicaid Payment for Outpatient Prescription Drugs

May 2018 |

Prescription drugs are expected to experience the fastest average annual spending growth among major health care goods and services over the next 10 years. In order to address this growth in spending, it is helpful to understand how Medicaid pays for prescription drugs and the Medicaid rebates that drug manufacturers pay to states. This issue […]
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