The Kansas Senate has approved a bill designed to cut Kansas’ costs in providing prescription drugs for poor and disabled residents.
The chamber’s vote Wednesday was 23-16, sending the measure to the House.
The bill would allow the state’s Medicaid program to use so-called step therapies for prescriptions that require patients to try less expensive drugs before obtaining more expensive ones.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback included the measure in his plan for eliminating a projected deficit of nearly $200 million in the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. His administration believes the state would save nearly $11 million annually.
Supporters say the measure is a cost-saving method already used in private health plans. Critics believe it could deny patients much-needed medications.