The 2009 Preferred Drug List – What’s Changing?

The Preferred Drug List and other drug lists for 2009 are now available and can be reviewed in the Pharmacy section of bcbst.com.

Changes to the PDL for 2009
The following changes to the PDL will take effect Jan. 1, 2009, and are designed to help members and groups save money on prescription drugs. Because of the nature of the prescription drug market, additional changes may be made prior to Jan. 1, 2009.

The following drugs will cost members LESS. They will move from Tier 3 (highest copay) to Tier 2 (lower copay):

  • Androderm
  • Avapro/Avalide
  • Azor (This drug moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2 on Oct. 1)
  • Micardis/Micardis HCT
  • Opana ER
  • QVAR
  • Simcor

The following drugs will cost members more. They are moving from Tier 2 (lower copay) to Tier 3 (highest copay). Preferred brands may be available for these drugs, and generic equivalents are indicated in bold.

  • Accolate
  • Cozaar (Atacand, Avapro, Benicar, Micardis)*
  • Depakote (divalproex)
  • Estrastep Fe (Tilia FE and Tri-Legest FE)
  • Fosamax (alendronate)
  • Fosamax D (alendronate plus OTC Vitamin D)
  • Hyzaar (Atacand HCT, Avalide, Benicar HCT, Micardis HCT)*
  • Imitrex (sumatriptan tabs, injectable, nasal spray)
  • Mircette (Kariva)
  • Tri-Norinyl (Aranelle, Leena)
  • Yasmin (Ocella)

*Members taking Cozaar and Hyzaar will receive a letter later in the year to alert them to this change and encourage them to save money by trying one of the generic or preferred alternatives.

Changes to the Quantity Limitations List
The migraine drug Imitrex will be replaced by its generic, sumatriptan, on the Quantity Limitations List.

The Preferred Drug List (PDL) is reviewed annually to determine needed changes based on drugs’ clinical effectiveness, safety and affordability. This review includes an analysis to determine a long-term “Lowest Net Cost” for members and groups.

While many changes to the PDL occur at the beginning of the year, drugs on the PDL can change throughout the year due to market changes such as

  • Release of new drugs to the market after FDA approval;
  • Removal of drugs from the market by the FDA; and
  • Release of new generic drugs to the market.

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