Employers easing prescription limitations?


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Some older medications once viewed by employers as "lifestyle" drugs when making benefit decisions are slowly gaining recognition as important components of primary care. But many newer drugs still tend to be thought of as being outside traditional primary care — and remain a tougher sell with purchasers. A growing share of the more than 400 employers who have responded to a Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute survey over the last four years have begun to cover products that once were not thought of as medically necessary, such as appetite suppressants, oral contraceptives, and prenatal vitamins. As for newer pharmaceuticals, including dermatological products and anabolic steroids, a majority of respondents exclude coverage.

Share of employers offering coverage

SOURCE: WYETH-AYERST PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT COST AND PLAN DESIGN SURVEY, PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE, TEMPE, ARIZ., 2000

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