December 1st is the day New Brunswicker's will realize more savings when they fill their prescriptions with Generic Drug Alternatives. For some reason there is a stigma attached to the term Generic as people often equate it with an inferior product. In fact, the laws of this country prohibit this. Brand and Generic drugs must be bio-equivalent. This means that other then colours or the fillers used, they are identical and will provide the same medical results.
Knowing this why are so many private health plans still paying the brand name costs? when you factor in that on December 1st, NB pharmacies will be dispensing generic drugs that cost 35% of the Brand name counter part? Think of the savings! This is most particular where the brand name drugs are being used for maintenance conditions, take High Cholesterol as an example. In NB Lipitor (Brand) costs on average $161.24 per month, in 2011 the patent expired and Atorvastatin (Generic) became available. With these new measures enacted in December, Atorvastatin will cost $56.43 per month. Now multiply the savings by the number of employee that take this drug? Get the picture?
I wouldn't suggest that you take away the right of your employee to choose the Brand drug if they want it, but I would certainly make them pay the difference in cost unless there is a medical reason otherwise.(Allergy to dye, etc.)
Implementing measures like these will help ensure that you private drug plan premiums are sustainable.
Call me to learn more about how you can help keep more money in your employees pockets.
A 20yr veteran of the Group Benefit market place sharing my expertise with Business Owners and H.R. professionals!