FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin

AETNA WILL WAIVE COPAYS FOR GENERIC HEARTBURN DRUGS

April 24, 2006
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Insurance company Aetna plans to waive copays for the next six months to encourage members to switch from certain brand proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to a generic equivalent, the company said.

Plan members who take Wyeth's Protonix (pantoprazole sodium) or AstraZeneca's Prilosec or Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium) are eligible for the copay waiver if they switch to a generic equivalent of Prilosec (omeprazole). Generic Prilosec is on average $140 cheaper than the brand drug, Aetna said. More than 19,000 Aetna members in the New Jersey area alone receive PPI medications at an annual cost of $3 million, according to Aetna.