The U-M prescription drug plan recently stopped covering generic Fortamet, a medication used to treat diabetes. Fortamet is one of several brand names for the drug metformin.
Different versions of metformin are the same from a treatment perspective, but their costs can vary widely. Generic Fortamet currently costs more than 50 times as much as other generic versions of metformin that treat diabetes with the same effectiveness.
Price inflation among generic drugs is one driver of high health care costs nationwide. One way the Benefits Office works to avoid passing these costs on to faculty and staff is by carefully evaluating what our plan covers. Drug coverage decisions are based on a careful review of the latest clinical evidence, the availability of alternatives and best value considerations.
After consulting with diabetes specialists, the faculty-led Pharmacy Benefit Advisory Committee recently recommended that generic Fortamet be removed as a covered medication. The plan continues to cover lower-cost versions of generic metformin.