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Types of Prescription Drugs

Covered prescription drugs are divided into three categories: generic, preferred brand and non-preferred brand drugs. The amount you pay for a prescription depends on the drug’s category.

  • Generic Medications: These are labeled with the medication’s basic chemical name and usually have a brand name equivalent. (For example, Tagamet is the brand name for the generic medication cimetidine.) A generic medication must, by law, contain the same active ingredients as its brand name equivalent.

    In addition, it must be equivalent in strength and dosage. Generic drugs are the most affordable way for you to obtain quality medications at your lowest copayment level.
  • Preferred Brand Medications: These are brand name medications that either don’t have a generic equivalent or are considered to be an effective alternative under the formulary. You are covered for these drugs at a slightly higher copayment than for generic drugs.
  • Non-Preferred Brand Medications: These are brand name products that can generally be effectively substituted with a preferred brand or generic medication from the formulary. This category of drugs has the highest copayment amount.