TRICARE TO INCLUDE OTC DRUGS

JANUARY 01, 2007

As of May 2007, the Department of Defense (DOD) will begin substitution of certain OTC drugs that have been assessed as both cost-effective and therapeutically equivalent to prescription drugs on the TRICARE formulary.

The program can be put into operation across the entire DOD pharmacy benefits program or at a limited number of locations, according to the discretion of the new secretary of defense. If the extent of the project is limited, however, it must be implemented in at least 5 outlets in each of the 3 TRICARE regions across the country. The legislation calls for a report evaluating the saved costs and benefits seen in providing OTC drugs under the pharmacy benefits program, including a gauge of customer satisfaction, to be included within the next 2 years.

TRICARE is the DOD's managed health care program for active-duty military personnel, active-duty service families, and military retirees and their families. The program covers 9 million individuals worldwide.




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