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In Brief: Pepcid AC coverage

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Pepcid AC coverage: Managed care coverage of OTC famotidine 10 mg tablets could cause problems, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices says in its Nov. 19 ISMP Medication Safety Alert! newsletter. The HCP Healthcare Plan, based in Buffalo, N.Y., has decided to cover the OTC version of the GI drug instead of the Rx tablets because "OTC Pepcid AC costs less on a mg per mg basis": 97 [cents] for a four-tablet, 40 mg dose of the 10 mg OTC version versus $3.14 for one 40 mg Rx tablet. ISMP fears prescribing multiple-tablet doses of OTCs "will increase the likelihood of a partial dose omission" and will make it "more difficult for patients to take their doses, especially for those who gag when swallowing tablets. It may decrease patient compliance, possibly affecting patient outcome." The practice "increases pharmacy workload, requires more inventory, more purchasing, more container refills, more clutter in unit-dose bins in institution drug carts and more personnel time in checking for dispensing accuracy"...
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