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Washington Medicaid accepts atypical schizophrenia drugs as first line despite costs.

Executive Summary

WASHINGTON MEDICAID ACCEPTING FIRST-LINE USE OF RISPERDAL, ZYPREXA despite the high cost of the newer antipsychotic agents, University of Washington Pharmacist Dale Christensen reported at a University of South Carolina Department of Pharmacy public policy conference in Hilton Head, S.C. Feb. 10. Christensen explained that Washington state became interested in controlling the costs of schizophrenia drugs several years ago when the costs of Janssen's Risperdal (risperidone) and later Lilly's Zyprexa (olanzapine) started "taking off like crazy, sucking up a lot of money in the drug budget." Medicaid officials noted at the time that several managed care plans "highly recommended that the atypicals not be the...first line drug."
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