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2/25/2002

Formularies Favor Generic Fluoxetine Over Prozac

Kate Traynor

Generic fluoxetine products have replaced Eli Lilly and Co.’s Prozac on many managed care formularies since becoming available last July.

According to data from the Scott-Levin "Fall 2001 Managed Care Formulary Drug Audit," generic fluoxetine products are listed on nine out of 10 managed care formularies.

Eighty percent of managed care formularies had included Prozac last spring, before the generics were available. By the fall, inclusion of the brand-name product on managed care formularies had plunged to 41 percent.

Sarafem, Lilly’s fluoxetine formulation labeled for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, was included in 26 percent of managed care formularies last spring and 21 percent last fall.

Scott-Levin, a market research firm, conducts its audit of managed care formularies twice a year. According to the company, data for the fall audit were obtained from a "pharmacy executive panel" that represented about 67 percent of Americans in managed care plans that use drug formularies.

Another so-called blockbuster drug, AstraZeneca Corp.’s Prilosec, could soon face competition from generic versions of omeprazole. The Food and Drug Administration granted marketing approval last November to three formulations of omeprazole made by Andrx Corp. of Davie, Fla. But release of the generic products has been stalled by a patent dispute between AstraZeneca and Andrx.