The Legislature finds the following:
(1) The availability of appropriate pharmaceutical benefits to every Alabama citizen is a critical component to the overall health of its population.
(2) Alabama should strive to provide appropriate, safe, effective, and cost-efficient pharmaceutical care to those who depend on health benefits through state funded programs.
(3) The Alabama Medicaid Agency should endeavor to manage the Medicaid Pharmacy Program utilizing clinical management tools in a manner to foster optimal health outcomes at reasonable costs.
(4) State Medicaid programs and private insurance plans across the country utilize preferred drug lists as an effective way to foster and encourage clinically appropriate and safe use of pharmaceuticals in a cost-effective manner.
(5) Based on the proven effectiveness of preferred drug programs to foster appropriate use of drugs, it is in the best interests of Alabama and its citizens for the Alabama Medicaid Agency to develop and implement a preferred drug plan. The plan should include a preferred drug list, which should be based on in-depth clinical evaluations of drugs.
(6) Efficacy and safety considerations override all other considerations in the preferred drug decision making process.