July 17, 2009, Newsletter Issue #188: Your Right to Choose Brand Over Generic Prescriptions

Tip of the Week

Your choice to receive a brand name prescription versus a generic is really not up to you.  It is not up to you unless you verbally communicate this to your physician and your pharmacist.  Laws in different states require the pharmacist to check for the generic equivalent first and switch the consumer to it without even asking permission from the physician or consumer first.  The pharmacist is required to notify the patient of the switch and the cost benefits of such a change however.  But the pharmacist is obligated to substitute a generic equivalent if the prescription is not written to only dispense brand name and if the prescription is being paid by a 3rd party payor (health insurance carrier) including Medical Assistance for some states.  Check your state's Board of Pharmacy to find out if the pharmacist is able to do this if you don't voice your concern for generic. 

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