KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

State Medicaid Drug Selection Panels’ Conflict-Of-Interest Policies Vary Widely

State policies to ensure drug selection in Medicaid programs is free from outside influence vary widely, according to a new study.

MedPage Today: Medicaid Drug Panel Conflict Policies Vary Widely
There's little consistency among conflict-of-interest (COI) policies for state Medicaid drug selection committees, researchers found. Researchers could obtain such policies for only 27 states, and the principles governing these documents varied greatly, according to Nicole Yvonne Nguyen, PharmD, and Lisa Bero, PhD, of the University of California San Francisco. While two-thirds mandated disclosure of conflicts, for instance, fewer than half set monetary cutoffs for reporting, or required that disclosures be publicly available, they wrote online in JAMA Internal Medicine (Fiore, 2/11).

Modern Healthcare: Conflict Policies Vary For Medicaid Drug Panels: Study
The authors recommend that a model policy should be developed and made available to states, a step they said would be likely to increase transparency. More states have started to move to managed-care plans, which often subcontract drug selection decisions to pharmacy benefit managers, as a result of the healthcare reform law and ongoing financial pressures, according to a separate commentary also published today (Lee, 2/11).

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