prescription drug benefit

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Worried about rising expenditures for prescription drugs, many states are employing preferred lists to encourage doctors to prescribe older, lower-priced drugs and forego the latest, more expensive medicines.

If Congress succeeds in passing a Medicare prescription drug benefit this year, the debate over preferred drug lists - now raging in numerous states - is likely to explode onto the national stage.

The lists - also known as formularies - are, whether we like it or not, a form of rationing. Ask any Canadian.