HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds New England states are considering importing drugs or forming giant purchasing pools to make prescription drugs more affordable. Vermont is focused on giving the uninsured access to drugs; Rhode Island wants to make cheaper Canadian imports available to residents; and Maine is looking to beef up its negotiating power in buying drugs for Medicaid and government employees, according to the latest New England Health Plan Analysis.
"Vermont is teaming up with other states to allow the uninsured to buy drugs from Canada, and Rhode Island wants to license Canadian pharmacies to operate in the state," said Ric Gross, New England market analyst. "It's too early to predict how new importation measures will go, but state governments clearly feel that something has to give in the spiraling cost of prescription drugs-especially for those without insurance as well as state government health plans that are strapped for money."
Other Health Plan News in New England: * Harvard Pilgrim Health Care hopes to tap into the self-insured market with its purchase of Health Plans Inc. * Massachusetts' Fallon Community Health Plan has expanded its lower-cost Direct Care product into Norfolk and Middlesex counties, adding 10 new towns and expanding its provider network in the process. * CIGNA HealthCare has announced plans to expand its CIGNA Choice Fund health savings account plans to businesses with 51-200 employees in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as Connecticut. About HealthLeaders-InterStudy
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