NU Online News Service, Dec. 13, 2004, 4:32 p.m. EST

A St. Louis pharmacy benefit manager is using discounts to persuade more patients to switch to low-cost generic drugs.[@@]

Express Scripts Inc. has started a Zero Dollar Co-pay program for patients who take certain kinds of prescription drugs.

The program will waive co-payments for 6 months for eligible patients who shift to generic drugs from brand-name drugs.

Every 1% increase in generic drug use helps cut prescription plan costs 1%, Express Scripts estimates.