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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 26, 2005

Note: This is a corrected release. It corrects the date when open enrollment begins for the university's health care plans. The correct date is Oct. 28.

UI Offers Generic Drugs At No Cost To Faculty, P&S, Merit Exempt Staff

University of Iowa faculty, P&S, and Merit Exempt staff will pay nothing for generic prescription drugs in 2006. Not only is it a good deal for employees, but the new program, which is available to all faculty, P&S and merit exempt staff covered by UI health care plans as well as their covered families, is expected to save the university a significant amount of money.

"If even a percentage of our covered employees now using non-generic drugs switches, the university stands to save millions of dollars," says Richard Saunders, UI director of benefits. The new program was considered and approved by the university's Funded Retirement and Insurance Committee, a committee of faculty and staff who recommend benefit and insurance policies for the UI.

The savings come because the university is self-insured, meaning that it is responsible for all of the claim costs incurred by faculty and staff. The covered plans are UICare, UISelect, CHIP 2 and CHIP 3.

"Some 83 percent of our dollars spent on drugs are for non-generics, whereas only 58 percent of the drugs themselves are non-generics," Saunders says. "If we can change that ratio, we can save a great deal of money. FRIC saw the value and recommended that the University adopt the program."

The university's open enrollment for its plans begins Oct. 28.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Charles S. Drum, 319-384-0048,; Program: Richard Saunders, 319-335-2676,