Express Scripts Tries to Amp Up Generic Utilization

June 8, 2004 ( - One way to get at higher prescription drug costs is through greater generic utilization, and Express Scripts is now offering plan sponsors a new product to do just that.

Express Scripts has released GenericsWork, a new program built around Performance Formulary, a generics-based formulary that promotes generics and low-cost brands.   Through the use of educational tools on the clinical and economic value of generic drugs, encouraging appropriate use of generics and lower-cost brand drugs, Express Scripts says plan sponsors will see a dip in their prescription drug costs.

According to the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), plan sponsors that implement GenericsWork will see their generic dispensing rate increase to approximately 70% of all drugs dispensed.   Subsequently, the company’s annual increase in overall drug costs will be less than 5% for each of the next three years.   In fact, Express Scripts says that for every 1% increase in generic drug use, prescription benefit plan sponsors save 1% off their cost for drugs in providing the benefit.

In addition, GenericsWork offers savings for consumers who are plan members via a three-tier copayment structure by increasing their utilization of generic drugs. Plan members often have an $8 copayment for generic drugs and a $20 copayment for low cost brand drugs listed on the formulary, Express Scripts said.