Mac Analysis

Written by Norene Anderson
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MAC analysis is a process of determining the maximum allowable cost for medication. This is used particularly for Medicaid drug pricing. State budgets are stretched to the limit with increasing drug costs and measures have been put in place to monitor and control these rising costs. One of the changes is to utilize generic drugs in the place of name brand drugs. This amounts to millions of dollars in savings.

MAC analysis to determine the reimbursement amount considers the lowest price published for a generic drug, surveying pharmacies to determine actual cost, or using the limits established as the Federal Upper Limit (or Federal MAC). This pricing is updated every six months. It is noted that the FUL lists do not contain as many drugs as MAC lists and the prices are generally lower on the state MAC programs.

MAC Analysis Comparison

MAC analysis is actively utilized to introduce methods of cost containment in relation to the use of generic drugs. The comparison of FUL (Federal Upper Limits) and MAC lists from several states indicates a variance in the different states attributed to the lack of reliable data for state programs. It is also time consuming and difficult for some states to fully investigate.

The scope of using generic drugs instead of the brand name is huge. For example, more than 600 generic prescriptions can be filled with over 2,600 brands. This is only the tip of the iceberg for getting into the volumes of pages to list all of the medications by brand name and the comparable generic forms.


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