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Tricare extends OTC demo

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The Department of Defense's Tricare health care program extends a demonstration project that allows substituting OTC products for some Rx allergy and heartburn drugs. According to a Nov. 5 release, Tricare beneficiaries can ask health care providers for prescriptions for OTC medications instead of Rx brand and generic cetirizine and loratadine allergy medications and omeprazole proton pump inhibitors. The Falls Church, Va.-based benefits provider said the program was scheduled to end Nov. 4, but will continue indefinitely. Tricare now requires $3 copays to cover changes in the overall benefits program. Like Tricare, other pharmacy benefit programs are conducting pilots or have started covering some OTC drugs (1"The Tan Sheet" May 5, 2008). The American Lung Association recently asked Congress to mandate coverage of some smoking-cessation methods, including OTCs (2"The Tan Sheet" Nov. 16, 2009)

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