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Ky says Medicaid patients don't have to switch cancer drugs

Ky says Medicaid patients don't have to switch cancer drugs

by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 4:20 PM

(WHAS11) -- Despite a committee's recomendation on Thursday, Kentucky's Medicaid cancer patients will not have to switch to different medications, the Cabinet for Health & Family Services said on Friday.

Kentucky Medicaid Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee voted on Thursday to restrict the drugs on the preferred list for Medicaid patients, from the seven oral oncology drugs now on the list to three.

After a WHAS11 story reported concerns that some patients would have to switch to different drugs, without knowing if the substitute drugs would be as effective, the Cabinet clarified the recommendation's effect on Friday.

"It's not true that people currently on a drug that becomes nonpreferred will have to switch," said spokeswoman Anya Weber, "The recommendation is that we allow continuation of therapy for existing users of nonpreferred single-source branded products via a 90-day electronic claims look back. The recommendation is also that, for each cancer type, at least one oral drug that represents a first-line recommendation by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network be designated preferred."

Secretary Janie Miller has 30 days after the advisory board's recommendation is posted to make her decision, Weber added.

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