Tennessee Expands "Free Drug" Program

Published Online: Saturday, October 1, 2005

A plan to provide free generic drugs to low-income patients in Tennessee has been expanded to include prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacies throughout the state. The generic drug giveaway was designed by state officials to ease the hardship of Tennesseans who were dropped from the state's TennCare program in order to cut costs.

Originally, state officials planned to make the free generics available only through mail order from an out-of-state dispensary operated by Express Scripts. Protests by Tennessee community pharmacists who stood to be shut out of the program prompted the state to reconsider its original plan. Under the new approach, former TennCare beneficiaries will be able to obtain generic versions of more than 60 different prescription drugs either fromlocal pharmacies or by mail.

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