State Highlights: Mo. Gov. Signs Into Law Bills On Drug Cost, Access; Ark. Expanded Medicaid Adds 25,000 To The Rolls

Outlets report on health news from Missouri, Arkansas, New York, Louisiana, California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, Tennessee, Hawaii and North Carolina.

Associated Press:
Missouri Gov. Nixon Signs Bills On Access To Medicines

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed two bills Wednesday aimed at expanding access to cheaper types of certain medicines and ensuring patients can take whatever drug works best for them, no matter the cost. The first bill would allow pharmacists to fill prescriptions for generic biotech drugs, which are similar but not exact copies of biologic medicines produced in living cells. The second bill includes new rules for step therapy. (Ballentine, 6/8)

Arkansas Online:
Medicaid Rolls Up 25,000

The number of Arkansans approved for coverage under the state’s expanded Medicaid program increased by almost 25,000 from February through April, reaching more than 290,000, the director of the state Department of Human Services told legislators Wednesday. Director Cindy Gillespie also told members of the Health Reform Legislative Task Force that she plans to seek legislative approval to hire a “surge” of about 250 temporary caseworkers to help clear a backlog of work related to 100,000 Medicaid cases,

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