AmeriHealth Inc. says adopting a pharmacy benefit manager formed by its corporate parent should help improve member drug benefits.

AmeriHealth, Mount Laurel, N.J., a unit of Independence Blue Cross, Philadelphia, put most members in the hands of FutureScripts, Independence Blue’s new PBM affiliate, Sunday.

Medicare Part D prescription drug plan members will shift to FutureScripts Jan. 1, 2007, AmeriHealth says.

Because of the switch, affected members now can get a 3-month supply of generic drugs without paying a co-payment, and patients will have quicker access to drugs approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration, AmeriHealth says.

Group health plan sponsors will get more detailed pharmacy benefits usage reports, and group plan members in Delaware and Pennsylvania will be able to buy self-injectable drugs from their local pharmacies, AmeriHealth says.