Monday, November 1, 2010

Generic Prenatal Vitamins

What is the difference between a generic and a brand-name medication (or vitamin)?
A generic medication must contain the same active ingredient and must be equivalent in strength and dosage to the original brand-name product. While generics and brand-name medications contain the same active ingredient, the inactive ingredients may be different. Inactive ingredients are used to keep a tablet from crumbling, add bulk to make it large enough to handle, and/or provide a pleasant taste or color. The FDA requires that generic medications must contain the same amounts of active ingredients as their brand-name counterparts. Generic medications must also meet the same requirements for safety and effectiveness as brand-name medications.
The WeeCare pregnancy program is for enrolled members of PEHP. If your employer participates in this part of the program and you sign up by your 30th week of pregnancy, you can fill a generic prenatal vitamin prescription without being charged a copay. This benefit is effective from the time PEHP processes it - about a week after we get your consent - through your original estimated due date you reported to us on enrollment, regardless of whether or not you have delivered at that time. So if you deliver early, you may be able to get some free of charge for the immediate postpartum period as well. Some women have already purchased OTC vitamins. Those are fine to take, but if you want to take advantage of the full vitamin benefit, you may want to save those for after the baby when women are encouraged to continue to take a daily multivitamin.

To get the vitamins (if you are eligible) ask your health care provider to approve a generic equivalent prenatal vitamin (written or phoned-in), then fill the prescription at your pharmacy like you do any other medications. There are no cards needed beyond your regular pharmacy card which contains your PEHP ID number.

Call WeeCare if you have any questions about this benefit. Numbers are listed on the left sidebar of this blog. Best Blogger Tips

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