Whether you are filling prescriptions for Epinephrine (Epi-pens) in case of allergic reaction, inhalers for your asthma or blood pressure medication, your Pearson plan provides three-tier Rx coverage. Ranging from the least to most expensive, review each and consider asking your doctor if an equally safe and effective option might be available to you perhaps at a lower cost.

Generic Drugs: these drugs are medically equivalent to brand name drugs. They contain the same active ingredients and have the same effect as their brand name counterparts, as required by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). They are less expensive due to the absence of clinical trials, development and marketing.

Preferred Brand Name Drugs (Formulary): preferred brand name drugs have been selected by Express Scripts (our prescription drug plan administrator) and a group of physicians/pharmacists based on a variety of factors including safety, how well the medication works (efficacy), unique qualities of the medication compared to available alternatives, and cost.

Non-preferred Brand Name Drugs (Non-Formulary): the first version of a drug made by a specific drug manufacturer. These drugs are exclusive and protected by a patent for many years, and more costly due to associated research and development, and marketing and advertising costs.

Click here to understand the copays associated with each of the above categories. Cost is certainly not the only consideration when it comes to medication you need — it is just smart to know how the plan can work best for you. And, as an informed health consumer, always talk to your doctor about any prescription you are given. Here’s a good list of questions to get the conversation started.

Sources: Web MD