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HMO coverage of Rx-to-OTC switch products slipped to 27% in 1997 -- Novartis report.

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

ANTIHISTAMINES, H2 ANTAGONISTS REIMBURSED BY OVER A THIRD OF HMOs in 1997, according to survey data reported in the recently- released "Novartis Pharmacy Benefits Report: 1998 Trends & Forecasts." With the exception of diabetic supplies and insulin, which topped all OTCs covered by health maintenance organizations last year, antihistamines and H2 blockers were listed by survey respondents as the OTC products covered by the most HMO plans. In 1997, antihistamines were reimbursed by 41% of HMOs, while H2 antagonists were covered by 36.4%, the report states.

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