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Premier Announces Further Expansion of Rational Choice Rx(TM) Voluntary Drug Formulary Program.

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Hospitals and health systems associated with Premier, Inc., now have access to two additional medication classes in their Rational Choice Rx(TM) program that began in 1999. To date, the program includes five different medication classes.

In the angiotensin II receptor antagonist medication class, Merck has been awarded the contract for its Cozaar(R) brand of losartan and Hyzaar(R) brand of losartan/hydrochlorothiazide. According to Charles Jacobson, M.D., Premier senior vice president with responsibility for Premier physician services, "Rational Choice Rx(TM) is a very important initiative for Premier. We work hard to build clinical decisions into the contracting process to improve quality and decrease costs."

Allen Dunehew, R.Ph., MPA, Premier senior director for managed care pharmacy who directs the Rational Choice Rx(TM) Program concurs, "Our program is strictly voluntary. Rational Choice Rx(TM) supplies Premier members with a complete clinical and contracting package to assist them in appropriate utilization of medications, resulting in cost savings. Everyone wins."

The H2-receptor antagonists medication class has been awarded to Glaxo Wellcome for its Zantac(R) brand of ranitidine. Karen Bertch, Pharm. D., director of formulary development for Premier, adds, "Product selection was based upon the outcome of the medication class review and the overall economic value of the Glaxo Wellcome offer."

"We see Rational Choice Rx(TM) as the future in sound group purchasing efforts," said Bert Patterson, R.Ph., and Premier's pharmacy vice president. "The attractive pricing Premier secured for the new medication classes went into effect January 1, 2000. Members who do not participate in Rational Choice Rx(TM) are still able to utilize Premier's existing, competitive contract pricing," Patterson adds.

Premier's Rational Choice program introduced three initial medication classes in 1999, including: proton pump inhibitors, long-acting ACE inhibitors, and low/non-sedating antihistamines. Other classes are expected to be introduced during 2000.

Premier, Inc. is a strategic alliance of leading hospitals and healthcare systems across the country, representing 217 owners and the 800 hospitals and healthcare facilities they operate, and approximately 900 other hospital and healthcare organizations. Premier maintains major offices in Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; San Diego, CA; and Washington, DC.

Visit Premier's Web site at www.premierinc.com
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 9, 2000
Words:369
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