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Wellmark waives copay for members who try new generic high blood pressure medications
Generics provide same care, but lower out-of-pocket costs for members
May 12, 2010

DES MOINES, IA (May 10, 2010) – Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is waiving the first month’s copay for members who begin taking new generic versions of popular high blood pressure medications.


Generic Cozaar (losartan) and Hyzaar (losartan/HCTZ ) have recently been released to the marketplace. To help encourage greater utilization of these generic angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), Wellmark is implementing a copay waiver program. Wellmark will waive a member’s copay for the first one-month supply of losartan or losartan/HCTZ for prescriptions filled at a retail pharmacy between May 1, 2010 and August 31, 2010.


“Generic medications provide the care our members need at a much lower cost,” says Matt Hosford, Wellmark’s pharmacy director. “If all our members used the generics available to them, we’d take a big bite out of rising drug costs, and ultimately help to lower insurance premiums.”


While brand-name drugs account for only 25 percent of prescriptions, they represent 75 percent of costs. Generic medications, on the other hand, are much more cost-effective, and result in lower out-of-pocket costs for Wellmark members.


Hosford encourages Wellmark members to ask their doctor if a generic form of Cozaar or Hyzaar is appropriate for their condition, and to get a new prescription, if necessary.


NOTE: The copay waiver does not apply to mail-service pharmacy. If a member’s drug plan has a deductible, the deductible must be met before the cost-share is waived unless the member’s plan waives deductibles for generics or for preventive drugs on a health savings account (HSA) preventive drug list. The offer does not apply to members taking generic losartan or losartan/HCTZ before May 1, 2010.


Visit for more information on prescription drug discounts available to Wellmark members.

Contact Wellmark Media Relations

Traci McBee
Phone: 515-376-4338


Teresa Roof
Phone: 515-376-5869


1331 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-2901

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