SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 9 Cibbey Abraham, Pharm.D., of FutureScripts, will present a research poster today at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy's 2009 Educational Conference at 12:30 p.m. Central Time at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio. Dr. Abraham will present on the impact of zero-dollar generic drug copays on medication compliance in a managed care member population, focusing on research strategies that have proven effective in helping people stay on their medicines as prescribed.
"Over the next 18 months, we expect to see about a dozen major brand drugs become available in generic form, representing close to $5 billion in drug expenditures nationally," Dr. Abraham said. "Members need encouragement to talk with their doctors about reviewing their prescriptions to help them make a switch. And while members are saving money by choosing generics over brand drugs, generics generally lead to greater compliance rates, since with lower costs, it is more likely members will stay on their medications regularly. It's a win-win because healthier members have better quality of life and save money for themselves and their employers."
Abraham's presentation will provide insight on specific ways in which FutureScripts has partnered with Independence Blue Cross, headquartered in Philadelphia, to offer programs that raise member awareness and provide financial incentives for them to ask their doctors about generic drugs. For instance, in 2008, a member incentive program called Rx for Better Health waived copays for six months on 75 generic drugs used to treat certain chronic conditions. The program resulted in significant positive effects to overall generic utilization and drug compliance in southeastern Pennsylvania.
"When comparing medication adherence rates prior to the copay waiver program taking effect -- to the six-month $0 copay timeframe, we saw increases from 61 percent to 77 percent, depending on the category of the generic drugs," said Dr. Abraham. "We are thrilled with this outcome, which shows that generic copay waiver programs such as Rx for Better Health have demonstrated that lowering the costs to obtain prescribed drugs helps members stay on their therapy as recommended by their doctors."
The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy's 2009 Educational Conference attracts approximately 2,500 attendees who are managed health care professionals interested in the management and coordination of clinical, pharmacy benefit, and pharmaceutical care programs. Attendees are practicing pharmacists from managed care organizations who are involved in health management and research, as well as representatives from pharmacy benefit management companies, practicing physicians, registered nurses, and academic professors of pharmacy studies. Attendees can earn CE and CME credit.
FutureScripts, an independent pharmacy benefit management company, headquartered in Philadelphia, helps employers and health plans manage rising prescription drug costs without sacrificing quality coverage. FutureScripts has built a comprehensive national pharmacy network of more than 60,000 retail pharmacies, including independent pharmacies as well as all of the major pharmacy retail chains. For more information, contact FutureScripts at 1-888-678-7012 or www.futurescripts.com.
Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.