Medicaid is expected to save billions of dollars a year as patents for several blockbuster antipsychotic medications expire and use of generic versions of these drugs increases, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. These savings may provide relief from the high costs of these medications and allow policymakers to lift restrictions on patients’ access, the researchers argue.
he researchers predicted changes in overall Medicaid spending for antipsychotics between 2011 and 2019. In 2011, Medicaid spent more than $3.6 billion on second-generation antipsychotics. Five branded medications—aripiprazole, quetiapine, olanzapine, ziprasidone, and paliperidone—accounted for $3.3 billion or 90 percent of this spending. Medicaid is the major payer for antipsychotic medications in the U.S., accounting for between 70 percent and 80 percent of all antipsychotic prescriptions.