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What is a Generic Drug?

All generic drugs approved by the FDA have the same high quality, strength, purity and stability as brand-name drugs. Generally, generic drugs cost less than brand name drugs.

What is a High-Cost Generic (HCG)?

While generic medications are usually less expensive than brand name medications, certain generics are not always the lowest cost option. There are times where a generic alternative can be more expensive than other generic medications within the same therapeutic class. These less expensive generic options are placed at a lower cost-share than the higher cost alternatives.

Please click here for the HCG list. (only applicable to State/Education/Local government employees).

Why Spend More?

Generic medications contain the same active ingredients and work in the same manner as their branded counterparts. Generic drugs can cost up to 85% less than their brand equivalents. According to the FDA, brand name drugs are typically more expensive because of the higher initial costs to develop, market, and sell a brand new drug. When your doctor gives you a prescription for a brand name medication, ask if a generic equivalent or lower cost option is available and if it might be right for you.

For non-Medicare members: If you should choose to fill a brand name drug when a generic equivalent is available, your cost-share may be the copay PLUS the cost difference between the brand name drug and the generic equivalent. Your provider can submit a prior authorization form with documentation as to why generic formulation cannot be prescribed. Once approved your cost-share will reflect tiered copay.

Generic Drugs: Questions and Answers

Facts and Myths about Generic Drugs

What are Biosimilars?