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GENERIC DRUG USE WILL BE MANDATED BY ALL HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAMS

Executive Summary

GENERIC DRUG USE WILL BE MANDATED BY ALL HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAMS providing Rx drug benefits, Rep. Waxman (D-Calif.) predicted in a May 21 speech to the Natl. Assn. of Retail Druggists (NARD). "I expect all health insurance plans will insist that generic drugs, whenever they're available, be used instead of brandname drugs," Waxman said. Speaking at NARD's May 20-22 legislative conference, the congressman predicted that "many of the insurance companies that have not in the past mandated the use of generic drugs will in fact mandate the use of those drugs because the savings from them will be much too attractive." He cited estimates that the post-1962 ANDA law he sponsored last year will result in Rx drug cost savings to consumers of "about $1 bil. over the next decade." Noting that organized pharmacy has voiced concerns that the Maximum Allowable Cost (MAC) Rx drug reimbursement program under Medicaid "doesn't adequately reflect the limitations you [pharmacists] face in getting drugs at costs set by the program," Waxman declared that problems associated with MAC will "become even more pressing soon, as the generic drug law . . . goes fully into effect."

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