Most cost-effective prescription drugs

November 12, 2020

At AmeriHealth, we are committed to providing our members with high-quality, comprehensive, cost-effective prescription drug coverage.

As part of our standard review, AmeriHealth has identified medications that have more cost-effective alternative options, and members prescribed these medications may benefit from a change to a lower-cost alternative:

  • Brand drugs with generic equivalents: Members can save money by switching from a high-cost brand medication to a lower-cost generic equivalent.
  • Non-preferred drugs with low-cost alternatives: Members can save money by switching from a non-preferred medication to a lower-cost therapeutically equivalent alternative.

The table below lists target prescription drugs, their alternatives, and an estimate of average savings for our members. A switch to an alternative medication may help to maximize member benefits and decrease health care spending. Please review these suggested alternatives and discuss with your patients where appropriate.

Target drug Alternatives Average health care savings(Per Rx) Average member savings(Per Rx)

Brand drugs with generic equivalents


Isotretinoin (generic Absorica®), Claravis™(Isotretinoin), Myorisan™ (Isotretinoin), Zenatane® (Isotretinoin)




Lorazepam (generic Ativan)




Clobazam (generic Onfi®)




Fluoxetine (generic Prozac)



Wellbutrin® XL

Bupropion HCl Tab ER (generic Wellbutrin® XL)



Non-preferred drugs with low-cost alternatives

Aczone® Gel

(brand and generic)

dapsone 7.5%)

- Dapsone Gel 5 % (generic Aczone®)

- Clindamycin Phosphate 1% (Foam, Gel, Lotion Solution, Swab)

- Tazarotene cream 0.1%

- Clindamycin-Benzoyl Peroxide Gel

-  Erythromycin 2 % (Gel, Solution, Pads)

-  Benzoyl Peroxide-Erythromycin Gel 5-3 %

-  Adapalene (cream and solution)

-  Adapalene- Benzoyl Peroxide gel 0.1-2.5 %

-  Tretinoin 0.025%, 0.05%, 0.1% (generic Avita® gel and cream)




Epinephrine Solution Auto-injection (generic EpiPen®)




Serevent® Diskus®, Spiriva®, Incruse® Ellipta®, Fluticasone-Salmeterol (generic Advair®), Advair®, Wixela™ Inhub™, Symbicort®




Ibuprofen 800mg + Famotidine 26.6mg

H2 Blockers: Famotidine, Cimetidine, Nizatidine

NSAIDs: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Etodolac, Celecoxib, Meloxicam, Nabumetone, Diclofenac




Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Etodolac, Celecoxib, Meloxicam, Nabumetone, Diclofenac



Glumetza® (brand and generic metformin ER) 500mg, 1000mg

Metformin ER (generic Glucophage® XR) tablet 500mg, 750mg


Note: Two 500mg tablets can be substituted for one 1000mg Glumetza®




(Diclofenac Sodium 2%)

Diclofenac Sodium Gel 1.5%, Diclofenac Sodium Gel 3%




(ketorolac tromethamine 15.75 Mg/Spray)

Diclofenac Sodium Gel 1.5%, Diclofenac Sodium Gel 3%, Ketorolac, Meloxicam, Indomethacin, Indomethacin ER, Celecoxib



Tirosint® (levothyroxine sodium capsule)

Levothyroxine (generic Synthroid®), Levoxyl® (levothyroxine), Euthyrox® (levothyroxine)




(brand and generic)

Naproxen 375mg or 500mg + Esomeprazole 20mg

Proton Pump Inhibitor: Esomeprazole, Pantoprazole, Lansoprazole DR capsule, Lansoprazole DR Tablet, Rabeprazole, Omeprazole

NSAIDs: Naproxen Etodolac capsule, Etodolac Tablet, Etodolac ER tablet, Ibuprofen, Meloxicam, Diclofenac tablet, Diclofenac DR tablet, Diclofenac ER tablet 100mg




(brand and generic)

Omeprazole 40mg/sodium bicarbonate 1100mg

Proton Pump Inhibitor: Omeprazole, Esomeprazole, Pantoprazole, Lansoprazole Rabeprazole

H2 Blockers: Famotidine, Cimetidine, Nizatidine


Note: Sodium bicarbonate 1100mg available OTC



Savings are captured as an estimate based on a switch to an alternative medication per monthly prescription. Actual member savings may vary by benefit plan.

We recognize that you are best qualified to balance quality and cost-of-care considerations together with your patients in choosing the most appropriate medications. We provide this supplementary information to support your management of our members.

There will not be changes to current pharmacy benefits at this time and coverage will remain the same. This is solely for informational purposes.

Learn more

If you have any questions related to this information, please contact Provider Services at 1-888-YOUR-AH1 (1-888-968-7241) for AmeriHealth New Jersey or 1-800-275-2583 for AmeriHealth Pennsylvania.