Elizabeth Davis - April 10, 2015
As you may know from experience, or from one of our previous articles on changes in coverage in 2014 or 2015, it’s typical for prescription benefit managers (PBMs) to exclude medications from their national preferred formularies each year. These may be brands that have generics available, or generally expensive medications where your plan feels a cheaper alternative may work just as well.
It’s less likely that existing drugs will be added back to the preferred formulary (or at least removed from the exclusion list), but that happened this year in several cases for Express Scripts and Caremark—two major PBMs. See More
Roni Shye - March 24, 2015
When you pick up your medications at the pharmacy you may notice that they are typically dispensed in amber colored vials or plastic containers. You may or may not be aware that these amber colored vials are not the original bottle the manufacturer dispensed the medication in.
For the majority of medications, transferring them from the manufacturer’s original bottle to the pharmacy’s amber vials is not a big deal, and lets the pharmacy purchase in bulk (which is more cost-effective)—unless you are taking certain medications. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - November 11, 2014
If you’ve been on Diovan or the generic version valsartan, and are being told by your insurance it will no longer be covered—you need a plan. Can you switch to losartan (Cozaar) or another medication to save money?
Here are some simple things to know if you’ve been told to switch your ARB to losartan:
Roni Shye - July 31, 2014
In the land of high blood pressure medications, ACE inhibitors and ARBs are considered first-line therapies. That means, if you are being medically treated for hypertension (or high blood pressure), you’re likely to be on one of these types of medications. ACE inhibitors and ARBs represent two groups of drugs that both treat hypertension, but they differ in how they work and what side effects you might experience. See More
Roni Shye - January 13, 2014
Telmisartan, the generic version of Micardis, was approved last week by the FDA for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and reducing the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack or stroke.
What is telmisartan (Micardis), and what similar drugs are available?
Telmisartan is an angiotension receptor blocker (aka ARB). This class of medications is often reserved for those patients who are unable to tolerate a different type of blood pressure reducing medications known as ACE inhibitors. See More
Elizabeth Davis - October 29, 2013
For many Americans with health insurance, more than 50 popular brand-name drugs may no longer be covered starting in January 2014. Express Scripts and Caremark, companies that handles pharmacy benefits for more than 200 million Americans, are removing almost 50 brands from their formularies at the end of 2013. More information is below.
What are Express Scripts and Caremark?
Express Scripts and Caremark are companies that administer prescription drug benefits for many health insurance companies and Tricare. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - July 23, 2013
Concerns raised about ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) have folks worried. Patients have come to our offices asking if they should switch their blood pressure medication. Let’s shed some light on the issue as there is reason for calm. Well known ARBs include losartan (Cozaar), candesartan (Atacand), irbesartan (Avapro), Benicar (olmesartan), Diovan (valsartan) and Micardis (telmisartan). They work well to lower blood pressure and the kidneys of diabetics love them. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - April 18, 2012
This past year and a half has brought us generic versions of some blockbuster drugs. What this meant was the expensive brand name drug isn’t your only option. While most of the time, when your medication becomes generic you will save money, strangely it may also hurt you. If you are on a brand name medication that now has a generic option in the same class of drugs, your insurance company will want you to switch to that generic . See More