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•BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can save on their out-of-pocket drug costs with the introduction of a copay-free offer on generic drugs, beginning now through Dec. 31. Nearly 500,000 insured group and individual plan members will have their copays waived at retail locations or through home delivery when they order or refill a prescription with the generic equivalent of a brand-name drug. The effort is part of the company’s continuing Demand Generics campaign, developed to educate Tennesseans on the safety, effectiveness and affordability of generic drugs. A spokesperson for the company said a person can save more than 20 percent on out-of-pocket costs when choosing a generic at the pharmacy. The average generic drug copay for BlueCross members is $7.73. BlueCross claims data show that 714,000 generic prescriptions were filled between June and August 2004. Estimating a similar generic dispensing rate through the end of the year, the company expects to cover $5.5 million in copay costs for its members. The copay-free waiver is intended to serve as a thank you to members who’ve already made the switch to generics and to encourage others to investigate the alternative of cost-effective generics. To take advantage of the generic copay waiver program, members with a drug card pharmacy benefit need to present their generic drug prescription and BlueCross member ID card to their network pharmacist. For home delivery, members should submit their prescriptions to AdvanceRx.com. The offer runs from Oct. 18 through Dec. 31, 2004, and applies to covered prescriptions on new and refill orders of any FDA-approved generic drug. Eligible members will receive information on the copay waiver program in the mail. The copay-free offer is the latest effort in the Demand Generics campaign, which launched publicly in 2003. To date, the campaign has generated more than $20 million in savings for both BlueCross and its members. To learn more about the value of generic drugs, Tennesseans should talk to their doctor or pharmacist. Information on generic drug alternatives and drug costs is also available on the BlueCross Web site at www.bcbst.com.

•The Market Square Farmer’s Market Fall Festival will be held beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 30, at the Market Square Mall in downtown Knoxville. The daytime activities include a petting zoo, pony rides, cider press, baked goods, fresh produce, a moonwalk, jugglers, craft demonstrations and a puppet show. The evening activities are as follows: marshmallow toasting, haunted house, trick-or-treating, an outdoor viewing of the movie “Beetlejuice” and a costume contest. There is no charge for admission and parking is free at the Locust and State Street garages. For more information, call 405-3135.

•The Farragut/West Knox Chamber or Commerce has opened its networking calendar for 2005. Any businesses interested in hosting a networking should call soon. The networkings are a great way to showcase a business and let other chamber members know what your business can do for them. Networkings are held on Thursdays and can be morning, 8 to 9:30 a.m., or evenings, 5 to 7 p.m. To reserve a date call Cheryl at 675-7057.

 

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