Benefits Plans - Prescription Drug Plan: Drug Plan Updates and New Drug Releases -
Claritin, Generic Name Loratadine,
and Claritin-D, Generic Name Loratadine/pseudoephedrine
December 20, 2002
In November, 2002, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the sale of Claritin/loratadine as an over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Claritin/loratadine, which became available at drug stores on December 10, 2002, will no longer require a prescription. Claritin/loratadine is one of several non-sedating antihistamine medications available today. In addition, other drug manufactures are offering generic loratadine OTC. The University of Michigan Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) reviewed the non-sedating antihistamine drug class on December 9, 2002, and made the following recommendations:
- Loratadine and other loratadine products (Claritin, Claritin-D 12, Claritin-D 24, Alavert, etc.) will not be covered for new or refill prescriptions as of January 1, 2003, for all participants in the University of Michigan Prescription Drug Plan;
- Other non-sedating antihistamines (Clarinex, Zyrtec, Allegra, and Allegra-D), which are on the University of Michigan Preferred Drug List (PDL), will be moved to the Tier 3 non-preferred drug list for participants with the three-tier plan design, however Zyrtec syrup remains at Tier 2; and
- Loratadine is the generic name for Claritin and is now available OTC by other drug manufacturers and may be sold at even lower cost than Claritin OTC. Members are encouraged to be wise consumers and seek the most competitive price.
- Physicians should encourage their patients to try the OTC Loratadine before prescribing other non-sedating antihistamines.
The University of Michigan in its sole discretion may modify, amend, or terminate the benefits provided with respect to any individual receiving benefits, including active employees, retirees, and their dependents. Although the university has elected to provide these benefits this year, no individual has a vested right to any of the benefits provided. Nothing in these materials gives any individual the right to continued benefits beyond the time the university modifies, amends, or terminates the benefit. Anyone seeking or accepting any of the benefits provided will be deemed to have accepted the terms of the benefits programs and the university's right to modify, amend or terminate them.