In a campaign to persuade patients to switch to generic drugs, Anthem this month began distributing request cards for generic drugs to physicians' offices in seven states, the company says.
The cards entitle the patient to 20-day to 28-day free trials for generic equivalents of 11 commonly prescribed brand-name drugs, including blood pressure medications, anti-inflammatories, cholesterol reducers and stomach-acid drugs, the Indianapolis-based company says.
"Appropriate use of generics represents one of the most significant savings opportunities for our health plan members," says Sam Nussbaum, M.D., Anthem's chief medical officer, in a release.
Anthem says its "Think Generics" program was piloted during the first and second quarters of the year in New Hampshire, and is now being expanded to Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Nevada and Ohio.
The drugs are:
- generic atenolol for brand name Tenormin, for heart disease;
- generic diclofenac for brand name Voltaren, for pain and inflammation;
- generic diltiazem for brand name Cardizem, for heart disease;
- generic famotidine for brand name Pepcid, for stomach acid;
- generic fluoxetine for brand name Prozac, for depression;
- generic hydrochlorothiazid for brand name Hydrodiuril, for blood pressure and water retention;
- generic lisinopril for brand name Prinivil/Zestril, for blood pressure;
- generic lovastatin for brand name Mevacor, for cholesterol;
- generic naproxen for brand name Naprosyn, for pain and inflammation;
- generic ranitidine or brand name Zantac, for stomach acid; and
- generic verapamil for brand-name Calan/Isoptin, for heart disease.