Drug-dispensing limits within Medicaid during the COVID-19 pandemic Journal Article uri icon

abstract

  • SUMMARY The 1-month drug-dispensing limit is a common drug utilization tool used by state Medicaid agencies to control spending. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states relaxed the 1-month dispensing limit restriction in order to align with social distancing recommendations. Yet, some states have not relaxed this limit and have differed substantially regarding the policies that have been implemented. Among states that relaxed the 1-month supply limit, determining which chronic disease drugs qualified for this extension can be challenging for patients and clinicians. As more commercial and Medicare insurance beneficiaries are offered 90-day drug supplies, the 30-day drug supply limit with Medicaid has become a health equity issue, since many individuals insured by Medicaid have already experienced a disproportionate impact from and remain at high risk for severe COVID-19 disease. Thus, we propose policy solutions to ensure that Medicaid beneficiaries have safe and uninterrupted access to chronic disease medications during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. DISCLOSURES: No funding was received for this work. Alpern has received funding from Arnold Ventures for research related to the use and spending of off-patent drugs, unrelated to this work, and is a member of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee at Regions Hospital, St. Paul, MN. DeSilva has received CDC support for work on Vaccine Safety Datalink, VISION network, and Center of Excellence for Newcomer Health, unrelated to this work. Chomilo is Medicaid Medical Director for the State of Minnesota's Department of Human Services.

publication date

  • 2021