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WellPoint: Revitalizing Managed Care

Executive Summary

WellPoint is on a mission to manage spiraling drug costs. Perhaps best known for its role in pushing Claritin over-the-counter, its OTC strategy provides real cost savings and also reveals the company's aggressive mindset for dealing with its critical cost drivers. Fresh from its Claritin OTC victory, WellPoint launched its latest expense-reduction program, GenericSelect, to promote generic substitution for all prescription drugs within certain therapeutic categories. And in a separate effort, WellPoint is exploring therapeutic substitution, the switch of one branded drug for another, when there is not a generic option in a class of drugs. If WellPoint demonstrates continued success with its strategies, managed care in general may begin to undertake the type of aggressive formulary management that was promised back in the early 1990s.

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