Texas Health Care Systems announced that it has seen an average of 10.8% higher drug prices in the first quarter of 2017 than in the same quarter last year.
In the second quarter, the average price increased to 21.1% from 17.5%.
This year, the state is expected to see higher drug costs as Texas HealthCare has been struggling to meet a $4 billion budget shortfall.
“As we continue to address the state’s $4.5 billion budget gap, our state’s drug prices are expected to rise, and we have a critical gap in coverage in the state,” said Texas Health and Human Services Secretary Mary Nichols.
But Nichols stressed that drug costs in Texas will remain stable in the long run.
Texas HealthCare is facing a $40 billion deficit.
The agency has been hit by a series of high-profile healthcare failures, including the recent coronavirus pandemic, and has struggled to pay its employees on time.
With the state facing an even bigger budget deficit, the agency has recently raised prices on some of its prescription drugs, such as fluoroquinolones and paracetamol, and some of the drugs that treat high blood pressure.
However, Nichols said the increase in drug prices does not reflect an increase in the quality of care.
She added that prices have remained low because many Texas health plans cover some of their employees at least in part through a savings account that can be used to cover costs.
Patients with health insurance will be able to continue using their existing prescription drugs if the plan covers the drug at an affordable rate.
Nichols also said that the state has seen more than 3,300 new patients signed up for Medicaid coverage over the past year.