from physician news digest newsbrief:
moving to trim drug spending, several insurers are paying to put atm-style machines dispensing generic-drug samples in doctors' offices around the country.
aetna inc. is unveiling a pilot program in which it wants to place the machines with physicians around philadelphia, in advance of a possible national rollout which could represent the largest use of the atm-generic strategy to date, reported the wall street journal.
the machines in the aetna pilot will be installed and supplied with drugs by medvantx, and stock as many as 20 different generic drugs used in treating nine categories of illness, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heartburn and depression, the journal
noted. currently, the machines can be found in an estimated 100 physicians' offices nationwide, paid for by various insurers or insurer groups, while the generic-drug dispensers aim to provide a counterweight to the samples of branded drugs distributed freely by sales representatives working for pharmaceutical companies, the journal
added. (wall street journal, october 12, 2005)