Inflation fighter: Choosing generic medications over brand names

Less-costly option helps reduce health care spending for CU Health Plan members
By Staff

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Last August, a CU Connections feature from the CU Health Plan highlighted common misconceptions regarding brand-name drugs and their generic alternatives. Now, a new infographic, right, illustrates the advantages in choosing generics.

Opting for generic medications when they are available helps CU Health Plan members save money at the pharmacy, and helps CU keep health care costs as low as possible for all plan members.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, a generic alternative can save members up to 85% of its brand-name counterpart. When a brand-name medication is chosen over a generic alternative, CU Health Plan members must pay the cost difference in addition to their co-pay/co-insurance. As a result, members can expect to pay more at checkout for their brand-name prescriptions, which carry a higher price tag for the CU Health Plan and our employer as well.

Our generic efficiency rate across all CU health plans is 96.7%, and although brand-name prescriptions make up only 19% of CU Health Plan prescriptions filled, they account for 85% of the plan’s medication spending. Closing the gap between a 96.7% and 100% generic efficiency rate holds significant cost savings potential. At 100% generic efficiency, medication spending could be reduced by $3.8 million to $4.1 million.

CU Health Plan members are encouraged to continue to opt for generic alternatives of their prescription medications when they are available. Members can ask their doctors or providers at their appointment, and/or pharmacists at the counter, to choose generic medications in lieu of the brand-name medication whenever a generic alternative is available.

For more information about generic medications, check out our previous CU Connections feature.

The CU Health Plan is a team of health benefits professionals rallied around a common vision – creating a world where living healthily is easy. We want to live in that world and our plan members tell us they do, too. For over 10 years, we have used that shared vision as motivation to constantly improve the health insurance plans and wellness programs we offer to employees at the organizations we work with. The CU Health Plan team promotes the overall well-being of our members by expanding employers’ ability to deliver valued, holistic health benefits and mitigate the rising cost of health care. For more information, visit