Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs
Policies on Proprietary Practices
Drug Switching Notices
The American Academy of Family Physicians supports patient-centered formularies. As a means to maintain such formularies and to reduce costs of prescription benefit programs, insurers and pharmacies sometimes request that a patient be switched from their current medication to a generic or therapeutically equivalent drug. Such “drug switching notices” (verbal and/or written) to using patient-specific data may be appropriate when such communications:
- are patient-centric, e.g., address patient safety and patient compliance, suggest appropriate generic or therapeutic alternative, etc.
- are drawn from evidence-based disease management guidelines;
- are HIPAA-compliant;
- are directed only;
- clearly indicate what organization is funding such a communication;
- are transparent regarding the financial impact to the patient and the pharmacy plan and/or health plan;
- emphasize patients should consult their personal physician about any potential change(s) in their prescribed medication(s) which may be done best in a face-to-face visit; and
- adhere to respective AAFP policies on drugs.
(2003) (2009 COD)