Monday, October 01, 2012

MEDAlternatives: A Drug Alternatives Search Tool

I am pleased to welcome MEDAlternatives, a new product from Elsevier/Gold Standard, as a Drug Channels sponsor.

MEDAlternatives is an integrated database of medication alternatives and their costs, designed to help consumers learn about available alternate therapies. The system helps consumers understand their medication options, using only evidence-based alternatives that have comparable or better efficacy and safety compared to current prescriptions. Check out the fact sheet.

Many Drug Channels readers will also be interested in MEDAlternatives free, downloadable cost savings spreadsheet. It allows plan sponsors to plug-in data on member lives, average number of prescriptions, average costs, and estimated conversion rates to estimate savings.


Generic drug costs are lower than ever before and more than three quarters of the prescriptions written and filled in the U.S. are for generics. Yet, prescription drug spending continues to go up, largely due to the prices commanded for patent-protected brand drugs.

Health care payers who want to reduce prescription drug spending may have exhausted their potential to switch members from brand to generic drugs, so what else can they do?

One possibility is to move members from their current brand drugs to alternative brands that have the same therapeutic intent and efficacy but cost less. This is not as simple as the brand-to-generic conversions, but it can be done – and a new product from Elsevier is designed to make it easier.

MEDAlternatives, a clinical engine solution, identifies safe and cost effective medication alternatives for achieving therapy compliance and significant savings with brand alternatives.

Click here to see examples that demonstrate how substitution of brand-name therapeutic alternatives can save health plans significant drug spending. The cost savings calculator allows you to plug in your own numbers for member lives, average number of prescriptions, average costs, and estimated conversion rates to estimate savings for your company.

MEDAlternatives helps:
  • Guide consumers toward more affordable, safer and more effective medication options
  • Involve consumers in these choices, knowing that cost and convenience play a central role in adherence to treatment
  • Prepare consumers to discuss options with their healthcare providers
  • Simplify drug regimens and drive down costs for patients and payers
  • Improve compliance for healthier and less expensive outcomes
  • Boost patients’ satisfaction with their drug benefits
  • Add value to your business and attract new participants
  • Support your drug benefit staff with essential, useful data
To learn more, visit the MEDAlternatives webpage, where you can find the MEDAlternatives Fact Sheet and download the Cost Savings Calculator.

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