Plan sponsors, insurers push for generic drugs

‘No substitution’ notes from doctors more common
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/01/2013

In an effort to curtail rising health plan costs, employers and insurance companies are pushing for generic drug substitution among employees, rejecting more claims for brand name drugs. And it’s about time, according to Michael Law, an assistant professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

“It’s a really intelligent, cost-saving measure,” he said. “It’s long overdue for our private drug plans to be a little more aggressive in the way that they reimburse drug claims.”

In recent years, high-selling brand name drugs such as cholesterol-lowering Lipitor and Crestor have lost patent protection, so no-name, lower-cost substitutes are coming into the market. Yet many patients and their doctors continue to prefer the brand name options.