Some sample savings include 28 tabletss Zocor (20mg) at $77.55 compared to the generic version at $41; 28 tablets of Plavix (75mg) compared to the generic version at $53.50; and 28 tablets of Tenormin at $50.40 compared the generic version at $35.55.
Some sample savings include 28 tabletss Zocor (20mg) at $77.55 compared to the generic version at $41; 28 tablets of Plavix (75mg) compared to the generic version at $53.50; and 28 tablets of Tenormin at $50.40 compared the generic version at $35.55.

 

21 April 2010

Government’s decision to mandate the use of generic drugs could save thousands of dollars a year, according to one of the Bermuda’s leading providers of health insurance.

Some sample savings include 28 tablets Zocor (20mg) at $77.55 compared to the generic version at $41; 28 tablets of Plavix (75mg) compared to the generic version at $53.50; and 28 tablets of Tenormin at $50.40 compared the generic version at $35.55.

Naz Farrow, The Colonial Group’s chief operating officer for health, said in a press release: “In the Throne Speech the Government was focusing on some of the issues relating to health care, to control cost and provide equity within the system.”

The Throne Speech stated: “The cost of prescription drugs can be a burden on anyone, whether or not they have health insurance.”

Ms Farrow added: “Currently, the Island’s medical practitioners are diligent in trying to ensure that their patients have access to generic drugs where appropriate, but the prescribing system can be improved.

“The Government will introduce amendments to the Pharmacy and Poisons Act 1979 which will mandate the prescribing of prescription generic drugs unless the physician specifically requires a trade name product.”

 “Overall the generics are less expensive than the brand. In order to be considered a generic, the drug must be able to perform the same function of the brand and the FDA regulates how much variability is acceptable for a drug to be approved as a generic medication to the brand medication.

“There are doctors who do not want to order the generic for certain medications, such as Coumadin vs warfarin in order to better stabilize the INR’s which assist in better stabilizing a patients anticoagulation factor to prevent blood clots in certain medical conditions.

“However, for the majority of people a generic medication once you are stabilized on it is very effective.”

She says the cost of prescription drugs is a significant component of the overall spending within the health care system (2012 Acturial report stated it contributed eight per cent of the claims costs in Bermuda), and moves to reduce reliance on brand drugs could make some significant savings.

“I understand a doctor’s reluctance to switch to generic drugs in some instances, however the cost of prescription drugs can be a burden for people, especially the elderly and the unemployed.

“At a time when health care costs are escalating this is an initiative to be welcomed. By itself it will not bring premiums down but it will go a long way towards helping to stabilize them.”

Ms Farrow added: “We are very supportive of the efforts being made by Government to control spiralling health care costs by looking at various factors, such as a greater use of generic drugs.

“And we are committed to working with Government and providing them with support needed to tackle the challenges that are ahead of them.”