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Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee

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    What is the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee?

    Our Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee voting membership is made up of independent community physicians and pharmacists, who are not Blue Shield of California employees. The P&T Committee reviews and updates the formulary list each quarter so that it includes safe and effective drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They also review each therapeutic class of drugs on a yearly basis, to ensure the formulary continues to provide a representative sample of the medications available for a condition. Medication coverage criteria is updated and reviewed to reflect current standards of practice. Quality assurance programs are reviewed and approved to enhance Blue Shield's quality of care.
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    How often does the Committee review medications?

    The P&T Committee meets quarterly to review new drugs that have recently been approved by the FDA as well as drugs that have been FDA approved for new medical conditions.
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    How does Blue Shield decide which drugs are on the formulary?

    Our goal is to provide a formulary that gives members access to appropriate and cost effective medications. The FDA-approved brand-name drugs chosen for our formulary are selected based on their safety, effectiveness and overall value. Brand-name drugs are added to the formulary if they represent an important therapeutic advance. They are not added if current drugs on the formulary are equally safe and more cost effective. Generic equivalents of brand-name drugs are added to the formulary when their patents expire and the generic equivalents become available.

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