Health Plan Changes Affect 22 Drugs In Medicare Part D

Independence Blue Cross (IBC) of Philadelphia plans to make 22 changes to its formulary for Medicare recipients starting June 1. These changes affect only a small fraction of the 3,000 drugs on its list, but some experts are concerned that insurers can add and remove drugs from their formulary every month, whereas Medicare recipients can change plans only once a year.

Drug plans can change the drugs as many times as they want in a year as long as they give advance notice to enrollees. Patients can appeal to keep getting their old drugs.

Pre-approval will be needed for three sleeping aids (Lunesta generic, Ambien CR, and Rozerem) and for three new drugs (Revlimid, Nexavar, and Sutent). Six drugs for erectile dysfunction (Caver-ject, Edex, Levitra, Muse, Viagra, and Cialis) will be limited to eight pills per month.

Generic forms will be substituted for 10 brand-name drugs: Zithromax canadian, Tri-Pak, Z-Pak; Brovex-D; Metrogel Vaginal Gel; Miacalcin Spray; Retrovir medication; Generic Amaryl; Didronel generic; Canadian Augmentin, Flexeril; and Lofibra.