HB 3678 to be heard Wednesday, April 13th

HB 3678 by Rep. Brown, being heard in the House Public Health Committee, would limit Medicaid recipients, even those who are currently enrolled in STAR (the managed Medicaid program that is in some parts of the state), and who now have access to unlimited scripts through the Medicaid vendor drug program, to 3 prescriptions per month.  Since it does not distinguish, it apparently would limit persons under 18 to 3 scripts per month, although they now have access to unlimited scripts through Medicaid whether or not enrolled in managed Medicaid.

It also mandates at least a 4% increase in use of generics.  A 4% increase likely (but not certain) only means that new starts would be generics, and people who were stable likely (but not certain) wouldn’t be forced to switch from brand name to generic, which may cause problems.  Those person who are new starts on generics seem to do just as well as those started on brand name, because, in both cases, the doctors usually have to adjust the dosages a few times.

As a result of the uncertainty of the conditions of this proposed legislation, NAMI Texas is not supporting HB 3678.  Limiting access to prescription drugs for people with mental illnesses in the name of cost-savings is not good policy.

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