Author | Matthew P. Mitchell, PharmD, MBA


Effect of Health Plan and Physician Clinic Collaboration on Increasing Omeprazole Use

May 18, 2009

A proposal for a pilot project to save money for a health plan was developed collaboratively with a clinic manager and the medical director of a local clinic. The goal was to encourage and support physicians in changing the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication prescribed for patients from a brand-name PPI to omeprazole, a more cost-effective generic option. The health plan identified members who had filled a prescription for a brand-name PPI and asked their physicians to consider switching the patients’ therapy to omeprazole. If the physician agreed to the change, the clinic would then send a letter to the patient, in which the physician recommended the change along with a new prescription for omeprazole. Following successful implementation in the initial pilot clinic, the program was extended to 4 more clinics. After achieving significant cost savings at all 5 clinics, the health plan is now expanding the program to more clinics as well as considering launching similar programs targeting other medication classes. (Drug Benefit Trends. 2009;21:158-163)