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Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Implements Aggressive Generic Medication Campaign
Date:4/16/2008

The Plan Moves More than 40 Tier 3 Drugs for Chronic Diseases to Tier 2,

According to a New Report from HealthLeaders-InterStudy

NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- HealthLeaders-InterStudy, the leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has begun an aggressive generic medication campaign as of January 2008 in which it waives the copayment on all generic drugs that treat congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. According to the new report entitled Blue Profiler: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the campaign, called Medication Dedication, is the plan's attempt to encourage members to take prescription drugs as directed and to make the overall cost of drugs more affordable.

"In 2007, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina's generic utilization rate was higher than its two major competitors, UnitedHealthcare and CIGNA Healthcare," said Heather Wicks, analyst at HealthLeaders- InterStudy. "The Blue Plan's rate was 58 percent in 2007, up from 46.8 percent in 2004."

The report also finds that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has moved more than 40 drugs to treat chronic diseases from Tier 3 to Tier 2 as part of its Medication Dedication program. For example, Tier 3 drugs to treat diabetes moved to Tier 2 status include Byetta, Fortamet, Glucagen, Glumetza, Glyset, Prandin, Riomet, Starlit and Symlin.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina had been more aggressive than competitors CIGNA Healthcare and UnitedHealthcare in the placement of more expensive brand-name drugs in tiers requiring higher copays," continued Ms. Wicks. "However, the decision to move more drugs to lower tiers in 2008 should put Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina more in line with other payers."

Blue Profiler: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is one of 15 2008 Blue Profiler reports on the n
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SOURCE HealthLeaders-InterStudy
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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