You probably know from your own experience that the cost of prescription drugs continues to rise dramatically. To help keep your medical expenses as low as possible, both PPO options include a prescription drug program administered by Caremark. When you enroll in either PPO Plan, you automatically receive prescription drug coverage.
Each time you fill a prescription, you could save money by asking for a generic medicine. There are two types of prescription drugs: generic and brand-name. Generic drugs are the ‘therapeutic equivalent’ of a brand-name drug, containing identical active ingredients. Generic drugs have the lowest copays. That could add up to big savings in just a short time. Research shows that you and St. Jude can save an average of 30% to 80% when you fill your prescriptions with a generic drug instead of a brand name drug.
Priority for generics
If your doctor prescribes a brand-name drug although a generic is available and you choose to purchase the brand-name prescription, you will pay more for your medicine. Your co-pay will be the total of the generic co-pay, plus the difference between the actual cost of the brand and the generic drug.
|Illustrative example of cost difference|
Difference in price between brand and generic version of Wellbutrin XL:
Brand-name Wellbutrin costs about $194.31, and the generic equivalent costs $52.99.
|Plus retail generic co-pay||+ $5.00|
|Your cost if you choose to buy the brand-name drug||$146.32|
Talk to your doctor. Ask your health care procider to prescribe generics when available.
Are generics safe?
Yes! The FDA says that all drugs must work well and be safe. Generic drugs use the same active ingredients as brand name drugs and work the same way. So they have the same risks and benefits as the brand name drugs. The FDA requires a generic drug to be the same as its brand name counterpart in:
- Effectiveness (how well it works)
- Active ingredients
- Performance (how it works in the body)
- Strength (e.g., 10 mg, 20 mg)
- Dosage form (pill, liquid, cream, etc.)
How do I request a generic medicine?
- When you need a prescription, ask your doctor if there is a generic available to treat your condition and to allow generic substitution at your local pharmacy.
- When you need a refill, say, “yes” if your pharmacist asks whether you would like the generic equivalent for the brand name drug your doctor prescribed.
Visit the Savings Center on Caremark.com to find out how much you can save using generics over the brand name medicine.