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Coolbaugh

COLUMBIA -- South Carolina Medicaid patients with AIDS, cancer or mental illness will have to use generic drugs, where available, under a budget measure the Senate agreed to Tuesday.

The measure, adopted on a voice vote, came as the Senate began a rare second week of debate on a $5.8 billion spending plan.

The budget proposal sent to the Senate last month had called for exceptions that made it clear that people being treated for AIDS/HIV and mental illness with brand name drugs would continue to get those drugs.