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Generic drugs can save you $$$.



There's absolutely nothing you can do about the high cost of prescription drugs prescription drug Prescription medication Pharmacology An FDA-approved drug which must, by federal law or regulation, be dispensed only pursuant to a prescription–eg, finished dose form and active ingredients subject to the provisos of the Federal Food, Drug, , right?

Wrong! Encouraging consumers-including your employees--to switch from brand-name drugs Noun 1. brand-name drug - a drug that has a trade name and is protected by a patent (can be produced and sold only by the company holding the patent)
proprietary drug

drug - a substance that is used as a medicine or narcotic
 to less-expensive generic drugs generic drug, a drug sold or prescribed under the nonproprietary name of its active ingredients or under a generally descriptive name rather than under a brand or trade name.  can yield dramatic cost savings. Generic drugs often enter the market at prices 25 percent less than brand-name drugs--but some drop to 60 percent less than the brand-name price within two years.

Drug companies spend billions of dollars on aggressive marketing and advertising for brand-name drugs. In fact, it is estimated that as much as 42 percent of the cost for a brand-name drug goes back into marketing and advertising the brand.

This fall, Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Shield A US not-for-profit health care insurer that is a reimbursement intermediary for physicians. Cf Blue Cross.  of Michigan, with support from the Detroit Regional Chamber and General Motors Corp., launched a program aimed at reducing prescription drug costs by increasing the use of generics.

The effort, considered the most extensive of its kind in Michigan--and possibly the country--includes a campaign to educate consumers, physicians and pharmacists This is a list of notable pharmacists.
  • Dora Akunyili, Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control of Nigeria
  • Charles Alderton (1857 - 1941), American inventor the soft drink Dr Pepper
  • George F.
 on the quality and value of "generic drugs--the unadvertised un·ad·ver·tised  
adj.
Not having been advertised to the public: unadvertised sale merchandise. 
 brand."

A 1-percent increase in the sales of generic drugs, for example, could save Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and its customers $17 million annually. If the formula is extended to include the entire population of Michigan, the potential savings could grow to $30 million or more.

Last year, for the third year in a row, Blue Cross spent more for members' prescription drug costs than for any other category of medical care spending--including in-hospital care, outpatient hospital care and physician fees.

"We believe that of the more than $1.7 billion Blues customers pay each year for brand-name prescription drugs, as much as $500 million to $600 million is pumped back into pharmaceutical manufacturers' marketing campaigns," says Atheer Kaddis, the Blues director of Pharmacy Services.

'The unadvertised brand'

Generic medications, generally not advertised in the marketplace, must meet the same U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards for safety and performance as brand-name prescription drugs.

To be considered a therapeutic equivalent by the FDA FDA
abbr.
Food and Drug Administration


FDA,
n.pr See Food and Drug Administration.

FDA,
n.pr the abbreviation for the Food and Drug Administration.
, a generic drug must have:

* Identical active ingredients An active ingredient, also active pharmaceutical ingredient (or API), is the substance in a drug that is pharmaceutically active. Some medications may contain more than one active ingredient.  as the brand-name drug.

* The same or similar speed of absorption of its active ingredients into the bloodstream blood·stream
n.
The flow of blood through the circulatory system of an organism.



bloodstream

the blood flowing through the circulatory system in the living body.
.

* The same specifications for strength, quality, purity and potency as brand name drugs.

Another advantage of generics is they are considered "tried and true." By the time brand name manufacturing patents expire, allowing generic versions to be marketed, the formulas have been widely used in the marketplace.
3 new generics

Three prescription drugs that will have generic
equivalents between now and December 2002:

Name brand           Generic      Date of availability

Prilosec             Omeprazole           October 2001
(anti-ulcer)

Mevacor              Lovastatin          December 2001
(high cholesterol)

Claritin             Loratidine          December 2002
(antihistamine)


For more information on how to get involved with this campaign, contact Roy Lamphier, senior director of insurance programs at the Detroit Regional Chamber, at (313) 596-0381 or e-mail: rlamphie@detroitchamber.com.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Detroit Regional Chamber
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:dramatic costs savings by switching to generic drugs
Publication:Detroiter
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Dec 1, 2001
Words:473
Previous Article:Have you heard about HEDIS?
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