Published Online: Saturday, July 1, 2006

A temporary program designed to encourage patients to ask pharmacists for lower-cost generic drugs will continue, at least through the end of this year. The plan, initiated by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) on February 1, 2006, waives copayment requirements for members who choose generic drugs when filling their prescriptions.

Although the program had been scheduled to terminate at the end of July, officials at the health insurance plan agreed to extend the copay waivers through the remainder of 2006. Between February and April of this year, North Carolina citizens participating in the program saved $20 million in copays by requesting generics, officials said.

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