Prescription switching - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Prescription switching

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - If you have a legal question, ask a lawyer. If you have a financial question, ask a banker. If you have a medical question, ask an insurance company? That probably would not be your first stop, but it is this idea that has doctors asking for a change. In many cases, your insurance company can opt to only cover the cost of a generic prescription drug, despite your doctors orders.

"Now we are finding it doesn't matter what we write. If it is dispense as written, or generic, they'll fill it as they so feel, or as the insurance company dictates," said Lake Charles Doctor, Lee Monlezune.

According to Dr. Monlezune, individual, generic pills, can often times be 40-percent stronger or weaker then normal. In many cases the variance is okay, but there are times when it is not okay. Insurance companies can demand you try the generic first, and when that fails, then they will cover the name brand.

The Louisiana legislature believes this practice has to stop. Senate Bill 421 passed in both houses, with no dissenting votes. The legislation gives more power to your doctor, by allowing him or her to call your insurance company and give proof of why you need a specific medicine.

"When the cost comes in for that drug, they will pay in full, just like they pay for the generic, depending on your coverage," said Dr. Monlezune.    

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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