Senator David Sater (R-Cassville) says the state’s cost to provide prescription drugs to those on Medicaid increased more than $300 million in 2015. A Senate interim committee chaired by Sater begins Wednesday looking for ways to save the state money on pharmaceuticals provided to Missourians receiving benefits through the MO HealthNet program.

Senator David Sater (R) (photo courtesy; Missouri Senate)

Senator David Sater (R) (photo courtesy; Missouri Senate)

“The problem is the tremendous increase in costs for the Missouri HealthNet program for prescription drugs. It’s unsustainable,” says Sater. “We can’t continue to go down this line every year and expect it to go up 10-15% when we’re talking about millions and millions of dollars.”

Sater, who’s a licensed pharmacist, says the number one goal is to make sure patients are being taken care of.

“We want to make sure the patients get the very best drugs for their health concerns. They deserve just as good of medication,” says Sater. “We are all equal in God’s eyes and should receive the proper care. I’m not going to make any recommendations that will lessen the level of care. I think we can make some wiser decisions on some of the drugs that are being prescribed.”

The panel is charged with making recommendations to the legislature before it convenes in January.

The committee’s public hearing will be Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the state capitol.