AstraZeneca Canada Inc. has introduced a patient support program in which patients can use an electronic card to cover the cost difference between its Nexium antacid and a generic esomeprazole product


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Smart card covers price gap between Nexium, generic

September 9th, 2011

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – AstraZeneca Canada Inc. has introduced a patient support program in which patients can use an electronic card to cover the cost difference between its Nexium antacid and a generic esomeprazole product

STI, whose SmartTechnology smart card platform is being used for the program, said Friday that the initiative is designed to enable doctors and pharmacists to take cost out of the equation in the patient's choice between Nexium tablets and a generic alternative.

According to Halifax-based STI, a prescription benefit program was implemented after a generic esomeprazole product was introduced in the Canadian market. Now, instead of patients being switched to the generic because of the price difference, physicians and pharmacists can provide them with a prescription benefit smart card to cover the financial gap.

A Nexium website, www.nexiumsupport.ca, has been created to make electronic cards available for doctors and pharmacists to download and provide to patients.

AstraZeneca also has introduced an alternative sampling program, also based on STI's SmartTechnology. With the solution, new patients being initiated on Nexium tablets are provided with a sample smart card by their doctor, which they present at their local retail pharmacy along with their prescription. New patients then have the choice of continuing with Nexium tablets through the prescription benefit program.

The alternative sample and prescription benefit programs are currently available in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario, STI said.

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