Pharmacy Times
Volume 0

In April of this year, Aetna launched a 6-month pilotprogram in the New Jersey area that waives copays forfully insured members changing from brand name protonpump inhibitors (PPIs) to generics to treat heartburnor similar symptoms.

Commercial plan members currently filling prescriptionsfor certain brand name PPIs are eligible for thecopay waiver if they switch their therapy to omeprazole20 mg. The free copay program is part of anaggressive effort by Aetna Pharmacy Management(APM) to encourage patients to use generic drugswhere appropriate and with their physician's approval.The switch to generics can help employers andemployees save on the rising cost of prescriptionmedications.

"There is a tremendous opportunity to help consumersand employers save by increasing appropriateutilization of generic drugs, and this program seeks toraise awareness of savings through generics," said EricElliott, head of APM. "The message of this program issimple: If generic drugs are prescribed wheneverappropriate, health care costs can be responsiblycontrolled without any adverse impact on the qualityof care."

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