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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: October 12, 2010
Fill Prescriptions On Time, Save $20 –
New UHC Program

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) enrollees who refill certain medications on a timely basis are in line to receive a $20 discount per drug refill. "The Refill and Save Program" targets co-pays for select asthma and depression medications.

The Refill and Save Program is available to most of UHC’s fully insured commercial health plan participants and is believed to be the first of its kind, the company said.

The insurer estimates that approximately 50 percent of its customers who take asthma medicines and 20percent of its customers who take antidepressants are not compliant with their prescriptions.

The $20 co-pay discount translates into a 40 percent savings on a typical co-payment plan, UHC said.

Health plan participants who refill their prescriptions via mail order will receive a $50 discount on a 90-day supply of medicine, with a refill deadline of approximately 120 days.

"Patients with chronic diseases such as asthma and depression who take their medicines regularly and who comply with prescribed treatments are likely to stay healthier," said Tim Heady, CEO of UnitedHealth Pharmaceutical Solutions.

Affected medicines include asthma drugs Advair and Symbicort, and antidepressants Cymbalta, Effexor XR and Pristiq. They were selected for the program because the health benefits realized from increased adherence are often seen relatively quickly, Heady said. "We anticipate that increased pharmacy costs that result from wider utilization will be offset by savings in medical costs," he added.

"Research has clearly shown that individuals are more sensitive than ever to the cost of their medications given the current economy," said Dr. Mark Fendrick, director of the Center for Value Based Insurance Design at the University of Michigan.

Address: UnitedHealthcare, 5901 Lincoln Dr., Minneapolis, MN 55436; (952) 992-7777,

  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Managed Care

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