Blue Cross claims savings of $97m on generic drugs

DETROIT: A generic-drug campaign launched by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has saved it and consumers $97 million, the health-insurance company said last week.

DETROIT: A generic-drug campaign launched by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has saved it and consumers $97 million, the health-insurance company said last week.

The ongoing campaign, which began in 2001, recognized pharmacies that offered patients information about generic drugs - and rewarded patients who made the switch.

Blue Cross Blue Shield selected one independent and one large-chain pharmacy to appear in a $1 million ad campaign that addressed misconceptions about generic drugs and included information about them from the US Food and Drug Administration.

"We really wanted to use the FDA as a third party, objective party," said Doreen Saputo, manager of retail communications for Michigan Blue Cross.

Atheer Kaddis, director of clinical pharmacy services, said that of the $97 million saved, $86 million represented savings to Blue Cross, and $11 million represented out-of-pocket savings to members.

Increasing consumer awareness of generic drugs "is not a silver bullet," Kaddis said. "But it is a significant component of what we can do to reduce rising healthcare costs."

Kaddis said the campaign purposefully coincided with the loss of patent protection for two blockbuster brand-name drugs, heartburn treatment Prilosec and anti-depressant Prozac.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.