Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, July 11, 2011

U-M Prescription Drug Plan selects new mail service pharmacy

Beginning Sept. 1, the U-M Prescription Drug Plan will provide mail order service through NoviXus Pharmacy Services, replacing Walgreens.

Overall administration of the university's drug plan will continue under informedRx/SXC. The change of vendors will affect only mail order prescriptions and will not alter other plan features, coverage or member copay amounts.

NoviXus Pharmacy Services, located in Novi, is the first mail order pharmacy in the state of Michigan. To ensure quality and safety, a pharmacist is involved in both the review and the dispensing of every prescription order. If a question about a prescription order arises, a NoviXus Pharmacy Services pharmacist will contact the prescriber.

In addition, all of the patient-care specialists working in the NoviXus customer service center are certified pharmacy technicians who are required to maintain their professional accreditation. NoviXus also offers one-on-one consultations with a pharmacist. U-M Prescription Drug Plan members will be able to consult with a pharmacist over the phone or submit a question to a pharmacist through the NoviXus website.

"NoviXus was selected to handle prescription mail service for the university in part because it offers shorter turnaround times, outstanding customer service, participates with e-prescribing, and provides the best overall savings opportunities compared to other mail order pharmacies," says Keith Bruhnsen, prescription drug plan manager and assistant director in the Benefits Office.

Mail service can be used for 90-day supplies of maintenance medications on which the patient already is stabilized. Maintenance medications are long-term prescriptions that are taken regularly, such as medication to control blood pressure or cholesterol.

"Mail order pharmacy service provides convenience and cost savings to our members who are taking prescribed maintenance medications," says Cheryl Kaltz, lead clinical pharmacist for the U-M Prescription Drug Plan. "They can have 90-day supplies mailed directly to their homes for the cost of only two copays, saving one-third of the cost they would spend for the same medication at a retail pharmacy." The copay discount will be available only from NoviXus mail service.

The transition to NoviXus Pharmacy Services for mail service is expected to save money for the university through a reduction in administrative fees and increased discounts on drug costs.

In July and August, all U-M Prescription Drug Plan members who currently receive prescription drugs through Walgreens mail service will receive a letter from informedRx/SXC with instructions on how to set up a mail order account with NoviXus.

On Sept. 1, mail order prescriptions with open valid refills will be transferred automatically from Walgreens mail service to NoviXus Pharmacy Services. Some prescriptions for controlled substances may not be transferred and members will be notified to obtain a new prescription from their health care provider.

More information about pharmacy mail order service and the transition to NoviXus Pharmacy Services is available on the Benefits Office website at benefits.umich.edu/plans/drugs.