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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.

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

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