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This is the list of therapeutic alternatives you’ve always wanted—updated every Friday down to the condition, drug strength and dosage form. Get 30,000+ evidence-based alternative pairings in 150+ therapeutic categories.

Bob has a tablet to treat what ails him, but there’s a problem: He can’t swallow it. It’s too painful. (Note that “Bob” is a fictional patient, but for many patients like him, this kind of trouble is all too real.) He needs the chewable tablet, but it requires prior authorization. Is there an alternative dose form that is covered on formulary? Better yet, is it affordable and just as effective?

Surescripts Therapeutic Alternatives can answer these questions.

And for pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committees at pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and health plans, Therapeutic Alternatives can be a key part of formulary design.

Reduce Medication Costs, Optimize Plan Design

There are thousands of medications, new and old, and how they’re being used at any given time is always changing. It’s too easy to design a formulary that becomes outdated the day after it’s rolled out to doctors and patients. That leads to frustration.

“No doc would ever call this a therapeutic alternative,” Bob’s doctor may have muttered in the exam room. “I’ve never heard of anyone prescribing a solid capsule when a chewable is needed.” This scenario is roughly analogous to the “tree of life” exhibit in a natural history museum: The offending medication is listed as an alternative simply because it fits within the same “family” (i.e., in the drug compendia’s taxonomy or hierarchical drug code system)—not necessarily because it’s the right fit for the patient.

Therapeutic Alternatives enables the right fit:

  • Updated alternatives every Friday: With a new file delivered every week, therapeutic alternatives can be deployed much faster into formularies and clinical programs. Not once a year, but once a week.
  • The alternatives make sense: Our in-house clinical team reviews and updates the list; no more doctors (like Bob’s) muttering under their breath that the alternatives they’re seeing aren’t viable.
  • The result makes patients and members happy: Engage patients with available, lower cost alternatives, right there in the exam room, at the pharmacy counter, or on the member portal.

With Surescripts Therapeutic Alternatives, P&T committees don’t need to monitor thousands of medications, and the patient can be matched with a clinical equivalent that works.

Therapeutic Alternatives is for Chain Pharmacies, Too

If the primary use case of Therapeutic Alternatives for PBMs and health plans is to aid in the creation and maintenance of an alternatives list in formulary design, the primary use case for pharmacies is to strengthen the pharmacist’s role on the care team.

Here’s how:

  • Fewer prescription-change requests disappearing into the void: The robust, evidence-based alternatives file enables the pharmacist to send more precise and actionable change requests to the doctor, who can see that the alternative is clinically sound.
  • Dispense medications faster: When a prescription is stuck in the exception queue and the pharmacy needs to switch out a prescription, providing clinically appropriate alternatives to the prescriber will fast-track the pharmacy’s ability to get medication to the patient.
  • Enhance the patient relationship at the pharmacy counter: Not only is a more affordable alternative easier on the patient’s finances, but it’s easier on the patient’s health, too. Medication that’s ready and waiting for pickup cuts prescription abandonment and boosts patient satisfaction.

Let’s return to the story of Bob and his doctor. When the doctor goes to prescribe an expensive, brand-name medication (which requires prior authorization), the PBM might come back with a few alternatives.

But the doctor doesn’t have to mutter under her breath that the alternatives won’t work for her patient.

“You know,” she says in the exam room as she reviews the list. “I see a list of drugs here that are covered for your condition, and I like the orally disintegrating tablet for you. It’s covered on your formulary with a Tier 1 generic copay.”

Learn more about how to make Bob and his doctor happy with Surescripts Therapeutic Alternatives.

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