The Impact of a Therapeutic Interchange Program in a Managed Care Organization

    AUTHORS: Leslie Fish

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    SUMMARY:

    OBJECTIVE: To show how therapeutic interchange, one of the tools used to manage pharmaceutical utilization, can save money while ensuring high-quality care and patient and physician satisfaction.

    DESIGN: Patients using nifedipine gastrointestinal system were switched to nifedipine core-coat product.

    SETTING: A multispecialty group practice that employs more than 250 physicians in some 23 specialties, with responsibility for more than 200,000 patients as of November 1997.

    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The number of patients able to switch successfully and the savings in costs.

    CONCLUSIONS: Managed care organizations can use utilization management tools successfully to assure quality care at lower costs. In the long term, this switch benefited both patients and plan.

    KEYWORDS: Therapeutic interchange, Nifedipine (GITS), Nifedipine core-coat

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