TRICARE TO INCLUDE OTC DRUGS

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

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

The program can be put into operation across the entire DOD pharmacy benefits programor at a limited number of locations, according to the discretion of the new secretaryof defense. If the extent of the project is limited, however, it must be implementedin at least 5 outlets in each of the 3 TRICARE regions across the country. The legislationcalls for a report evaluating the saved costs and benefits seen in providing OTCdrugs 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 programcovers 9 million individuals worldwide.