On February 29, Mylan Pharmaceuticals announced it has launched escitalopram in 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg strengths. This is the first generic equivalent to Lexapro®. If you are currently taking Lexapro, this could affect your prescription: Q:
Yes, brand name Lexapro is still available, but it will now cost more due to the “generic penalty”. The plan document states that if there is a generic equivalent for a brand name medication, and either the doctor requests the brand name drug or the member chooses the brand name when a generic is available, the member must pay the difference in price between the brand and generic drug plus the applicable copay or coinsurance. This applies regardless of medical necessity for the brand name.
The generic pricing will go into effect on February 29 at most retail pharmacies and on March 4 through mail order. Medco began dispensing generic Lexapro on February 29.
If I am currently taking Lexapro and my doctor wrote my prescription “dispense as written,” so that I can only get brand name Lexapro, will I be subject to the generic penalty?
If your doctor writes a prescription for brand name Lexapro only, you will be subject to the generic penalty.
If I am currently taking Lexapro, and my doctor did not write it “dispense as written”, will Medco automatically substitute the generic?
Medco will automatically switch a member to the generic formulation if the physician did not specify “dispense as written.”
Why is Medco calling my doctor to try to get him/her to prescribe the generic for Lexapro?
Medco does not question your doctor’s right to prescribe brand name Lexapro for you; however, Medco may contact your doctor to make him/her aware that there is now a generic equivalent available.
If my doctor writes a new Lexapro prescription for me and does not specify “dispense as written”, will Medco automatically substitute generic?
Medco will dispense the generic if the physician does not mandate the brand formulation and if you do not request it.
What will the Medco cost of the generic be?
The generic formulation will be approximately 10% less than the brand for the first 6 months. After that time, additional generic manufacturers will be able to distribute the generic which will decrease the cost of the medication. The pricing for a thirty day supply is approximately (subject to change):
What will happen if I have my debit or credit card on file with Medco so they can use for refills?
Any change in cost due to the availability of a generic equivalent to Lexapro will be charged to your card. The new cost will be charged the next time you get a refill. This could include a substantial retail penalty. The autocharge option allows prescription refills to be charged to the debit or credit card that is on file up to a limit of $500. Please note that if you authorize Medco to charge the card on file, it will be used for all orders from all covered members on your plan.
When will 90 days’ generic Lexapro be available at retail under the new “90 day generic at retail” plan?
Most retail pharmacies started dispensing the generic medication February 27th.
What is the name of the generic equivalent for Lexapro?
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