Regence BlueCross-BlueShield of Oregon has introduced a program to encourage plan members requiring antidepressants to use generic medications.[@@[

Regence, Portland, Ore., a pharmacy benefits manager for 4 BC/BS companies, notes new prescriptions for name-brand drugs Cymbalta, Lexapro, Paxil CR, and Effexor XR need advanced authorization beginning in September.

For members starting on one of those antidepressants, Regence is asking physicians to substitute a generic, which can cost users a copayment of $30, vs. as much as $83 for an equivalent brand name.

Regence operates Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans in Oregon, Washington, Utah and Idaho.