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Three States' Approaches to Pharmaceutical Assistance: A Guide for the Perplexed

The growing importance of state prescription drug assistance programs has led to substantial interest in how different types of programs have been designed, the experience of different states in implementing their programs, how programs adapt to address changing needs and the lessons that particular states have drawn from their own experiences. In this AARP Public Policy Institute study by Stephen Crystal, Kimberley Fox, Mina Silberberg, Tom Trail, Susan Reinhard and Joel Cantor of Rutgers University's Center for State Health Policy Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, a detailed examination of pharmacy benefit programs in three states illuminates these issues. Case studies of the development and implementation of New Jersey's direct benefit program, California's price discount program, and Maine's efforts to provide both direct benefits and drug price discounts describe the experiences of each state's vastly different approach to providing pharmaceutical assistance to Medicare beneficiaries. The analysis provides information and insights for policymakers, consumer and patient advocates, policy researchers, and officials in states that are considering developing new programs or modifying existing programs. (67 pages)

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