Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has a new idea for lowering prescription medication costs for the state’s residents. Schweitzer has a plan to create a Medicaid program for all the state’s residents that will give them access to the discounts that the state is given from the drug companies. He will be asking the federal government for approval on a Medicaid plan amendment for the state that will set up the program. Residents will be allowed to voluntarily sign up for the benefit coverage, and, Schweitzer argues, it won’t cost the government anything because it will simply be passing along discounts on the drugs.
Schweitzer has also met with Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, a major producer of generic drugs, to see if there are ways that the state can increase its use of generics. Schweitzer has a history of plans to reduce drug costs to Montana residents. His previous plans included importing cheaper drugs from Canada and trying to purchase cheaper medication that was given to the government through the department of Veterans Affairs. Both previous plans were denied federal approval.