The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved generic versions of the brand-name drugs Arimidex (anastrozole), Astelin (azelastine), Effexor XR (venlafaxine extended release) and Exelon (rivastigmine). Generic medications are the same as their brand-name counterparts in dosage, safety, quality and how they’re used. Generic drugs are not manufactured under brand names or trademarks. The color and shape of a generic drug must be different from its brand-name counterpart, but the active ingredients are the same for both.
We no longer consider the brand-name drugs Arimidex, Astelin, Effexor XR and Exelon preferred. Members with tiered copayments or coinsurance plans will pay the generic copayment or coinsurance amount for any generic prescriptions they receive. Members who continue to use the brand-name drugs will pay the non-preferred copayments or coinsurance for their prescriptions. Depending on their plans, they may also have to pay any difference in the cost of the brand-name drugs and the generics. Members with other prescription drug plans can benefit from the lower cost of the generic versions, even if their plans are not subject to tiered copayments or coinsurance amounts.