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Dementia is an age-related problem that increases Medicaid expenditures by increasing the risk of nursing home placement and by raising prescription drug and other health care costs. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is considered to be one of the most debilitating of diseases, impairing the ability of affected individuals to live independently and reducing their quality of life. In the state of Florida there are currently about 420,000 older adults living with this dreaded disease. Recent advances in pharmacotherapy have led to the development of cognate drugs designed to enhance cognition and to slow the functional decline and deterioration associated with AD. Because cognate drugs increase pharmacy costs for persons with dementia, it is important to evaluate their value for preventing other potential medical expenses, such as institutionalization. The objective of this study was to describe the service utilization and costs associated with the use of cognate drugs in Medicaid populations with a diagnosis of dementia and without this diagnosis. The primary policy question to be answered was "What is the Florida Medicaid program's return on investment associated with the provision of cognate drugs?"

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Agency for Health Care Administration Report Series; AHCA Series