Republicans in the state Legislature are advancing a budget that would carve $7 million a year from the Indiana Medicaid plan by creating a list of preferred mental health drugs based at least partly on rebates negotiated with drug manufacturers, according to the Associated Press. Indiana is one of only nine states that does not have such a list. But groups representing doctors and patients say the money-saving could be eaten up if patients suffering from mental illnesses are unable to get the drugs they need, possibly leading to expensive hospital stays or even run-ins with police. Medicaid enrolls more than 1 million low-income Hoosiers in such programs as Hoosier Healthwise for children and pregnant woman, the Healthy Indiana Plan for uninsured, and Care Select for the disabled. The provision in the budget bill would require doctors to seek prior authorization from Medicaid to prescribe drugs not on the authorized list. However, psychiatrists would not need prior authorizations.
Elanco, the animal health division of Eli Lilly and Co., has agreed to acquire Jannsen Animal Health, a subsidiary of New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson, pending regulatory approval. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. But Elanco, based in Greenfield, would acquire about 50 animal health products that Janssen sells in Europe, mostly focused on pigs, poultry and pets. Elanco also would bring on an unspecified number of Janssen’s employees. Elanco currently employs 2,300 people in more than 40 countries. Lilly has been trying to grow its animal health business through acquisitions in order to build up revenue expected to be lost late this year when its best-selling human drug Zyprexa faces competition from cheaper generic copies. They will sap most of Zyprexa’s $5 billion a year in sales. Last year, Elanco pulled in revenue of nearly $1.4 billion, up 15 percent from the previous year. Elanco’s drugs are mainly for pigs, poultry, cows and pets.