Sept 26 2017 v49. Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. Mahalo to the Daniel K. Inouye UH Hilo College of Pharmacy students Irene Kao, Tia Meideros, and Marina Ortiz for all their hard work in updating the Prescribing Guide for this quarter. Suggestions and requests are always welcome.

July 28 2017 v48. Mahalo to the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy students Robby-Sean Cayetano, Garret Hino, Miyuki Miller, and Christopher Nakagawa, as well as to pharmacy resident Naddine So for updating the guide by checking health plan formularies. We also reorganized the asthma/COPD and cholesterol medications into updated treatement classes. Suggestions and requests are always welcome.

May 1 2017 v47b. Mahalo to the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy alumnus Tony Huynh for updating the diabetes section of the guide with new medications. Tony will be joining our team and working with pharmacy students in the future to update the guide.

March 6, 2017 v47a. Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. Mahalo to the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy students Jaclyn Lee, Joyce Tapuro, and Mark Bibera for helping with this update. Right now Ohana and United Healthcare cover only Basaglar, while HMSA, HMSA Quest, and CVS cover Lantus.

January 6, 2017 v46. Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. Mahalo to the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy students Ty and Arthur for helping with the November/December update. We will be working on the January updates over the next few weeks.

September 6, 2016 v45. Mahalo to the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy students Terri Corpuz, Lauryn Mow,Lillian Tran, and Brenda Yuen for helping with the September update. This reflects the following formulary versions: Alohacare 9/6/16, HMSA version 8/15/16, HMSA Quest version 7/1/16, Ohana version 7/1/16, UHC version 8/1/16.

June 28, 2016 v44. Mahalo to College of Pharmacy at Hilo students Tony Huynh, Nicole Chin and Sean Abreu for helping with the June update. United HealthCare updated their formulary.

April 21, 2016 v43. Mahalo to College of Pharmacy at Hilo students Brandon  Tuzon and Andy Takahata for helping with the April update. AlohaCare made many changes. Arcapta and Striverdi are now covered as preferred long-acting beta agonists for HMSA Quest and UHC. Suggestions and requests for new drug classes are always welcome.

AlohaCare - now covers Combivent respimat, Spriva, Elinest, Niacin ER, Topicort, Locoid, Tradjenta, Auralgan, Debrox, irbesartan, Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien CR, Oleptro, Cafergot, Migranal, Abilify, Abilify Discmelt, Latuda, and Invega. Dropped coverage for Levemir, alprazolam, lorazepam, and trazodone.

HMSA Quest - added Arcapta and Striverdi, and dropped ProAir.

United HealthCare - now covers Arcapta and Striverdi instead of formoterol and salmeterol. Vortext spacer now covered instead of Inspirease.

February 19, 2016 v42. Mahalo to College of Pharmacy at Hilo students Alexander Galicinao and Christopher Thai for helping with the February update. United HealthCare and Ohana made the following changes (below).

Ohana - now covers Novolin 70/30, Novolin N, Novolin R, Novolog, and Novolog 70/30

United HealthCare - Insulin glargine is now covered as Tuojeo instead of Lantus. Levemir is no longer covered. Only One Touch glucometer is covered now (Accu-chek no longer covered).

Nov 17, 2015 v41. AlohaCare made significant changes to their formulary for asthma drugs, and we've made the updates.

Flovent HFA/Diskus dropped -->  preferred Arnuity Ellipta (fluticasone furoate) & Asmanex (mometasone)

Advair, Symbicort dropped --> preferred Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate / vilanterol) and Dulera (mometasone/ formoterol)

Spiriva, Tudorza dropped --> preferred Incruse Ellipta (umeclidinium) and Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium/vilanterol)

Nov 4, 2015 v40. We've checked and updated all the formularies up to Nov 1st. Thanks to College of Pharmacy at Hilo student Kasia Quintal for helping with the update on birth control drugs.

July 30, 2015 v39. Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. A big thank you to College of Pharmacy at Hilo students David Choe and Andy Wong this month for doing a terrific job in checking all the formularies for the July update.

June 18, 2015 v38. We're very pleased that Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy's Assistant Professor Camlyn Masuda, Pharm.D. is officially joining our Prescribing Guide team. We'd also like to give a big mahalo to students Kelsey Chang and Allen Bagalso for their hard work in doing the June update. This will be a terrific collaboration with folks at the College of Pharmacy at Hilo and we appreciate their ideas and support.

March 7, 2015 v37. Mahalo to pharmacists Traci Kusaka and Camyln Masuda for all their support in the March update, and to the Hawaii Pharmacists Association for once again passing out the Prescribing Guide at their 2015 Annual Meeting this weekend. Only AlohaCare and CVS (state employees) had significant changes to their formularies. We included an Anticoag/Platelet section on coverage for Eliquis, Pradaxa, and Xarelto. New OTC drugs include Flonase (fluticasone nasal) ~$15/bottle.

January 15, 2015 v36. We've updated all formularies ito include the January 2015 formularies for HMSA, HMSA Quest, Ohana, and United HealthCare.

October 22, 2014 v35. Novolog 70/30 is available for less than $30 at certain pharmacies. www.goodrx.com gives estimated retail prices for drugs at all local pharmacies for comparison shopping. As a reminder, we''ll be going completely web-based by end of 2014 and will no longer mail out hard-copies on a quarterly basis. Folks can still print the complete Prescribing Guide for free from our website. We'd like to thank everyone for their support .

July 28, 2014 v34 - HMSA and HMSA Quest updated their formularies in July and we included these changes.

June 9, 2014 v33 - We'll be going completely web-based by end of 2014 and will no longer mail out hard-copies on a quarterly basis. We're sorry not to provide the mailings to those who find it useful, but formularies change often enough that we need to ask folks to use our website which is updated monthly. Folks can still print the complete Prescribing Guide for free from our website.

April 30, 2014 v32 - This month, we've updated the Guide to reflect new versions of CVS Caremark (4/2014), HMSA (4/1/14), and United Healthcare formularies (4/1/14).

March 28, 2014 v31 - Ohana and HMSA updated their formularies.

January 23, 2014 v30 - Ohana, HMSA, Caremark, and United Healthcare updated their formularies. Accolate (zafirlukast) is now generic, though prices are still high even for the generic version.

December 29, 2013 v28c - Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. We made updates to the following : AlohaCare, Ohana ("10/2013"), HMSA ("12/1/13"), HMSA Quest ("9/1/13 v2"), and Walmart $4 ("12/13/13"). The latest versions are given in parentheses.

November 21, 2013 v28b - Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. Formularies were updated for Alohacare, CVS (state employees), Ohana, and United Healthcare. For insulins, we added whether the pen versions are covered or not. For instance, United Healthcare (Evercare) only covers insulin vials, not pens.

October 7, 2013 v28. Formularies were updated in October for CVS (state employees) and United Healthcare. Walmart also updated their $4 generic drug list.

September 20, 2013 - v27. Formularies were updated in September for HMSA and HMSA Quest. We also added information on Pradaxa and Xarelto. For retail prices, we are now using the online price at Costco's website or the Epocrates website if the price is not available at the Costco website.

July 25, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v26. Formularies were updated in July for AlohaCare, CVS Caremark (for state employees), UnitedHealth Care, HMSA, and Ohana. Walmart also updated their $4 generic list.

June 13, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v25d. There were no significant changes to formularies for June. AlohaCare longer covers Proair (ventolin only) and may not cover Combivent Respimat. We expect the next big formulary update to be in July.

May 10, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v25c. Updates were made for Ohana's formulary and Walmart's $4 generic list. We also added three drugs: Pradaxa, chlorthalidone, and welchol.

April 22, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v25a. Formularies were updated in April for HMSA, HMSA Quest, CVS Caremark (for State employees only), and Evercare. Inexpensive generics are now available for Lexapro (escitalopram $7), Plavix (clopidogrel $13) and Restoril (temazepam $9).

March 7, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v24b. There were no updates to the Prescribing Guide in March. We expect there to be formulary updates in April.

February 7, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v24b. Ohana updated their formulary. Other news: The Hawaii Academy of Family Physicians will be helping to get the word out about the Prescribing Guide by passing out flyers at their annual conference March 1-3 at the Hilton. Come say hi!

January 23, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v24a. Several of the plans changed their formularies in January, including HMSA, HMSA Quest, and CVS Caremark. There's been many changes to glucometer/test strip coverage, so it's best to check before prescribing. Thanks to the folks at the Kalihi-Palama Health Clinic for helping us update our glucometer coverage information.

December 18, 2012 - Prescribing Guide v23. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to everyone. As always, we'd like to thank everyone for their support and feedback throughout this last year. Suggestions and requests for new drug classes are always welcome. Have a great 2013!

November 27, 2012 - Prescribing Guide v22c. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We'd like to thank Costco for helping us update our information. CORRECTION: There is NO extra charge for non-members to fill prescriptions at Costco (we had thought it was 5%). Members without insurance can join the free Costco Member Prescription Program for even lower prices. Flu shots are now $17 at Costco. Lastly, we appreciate all the "thank-you's" for adding glucometers. Suggestions and requests for new drug classes are always welcome.

November 15, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (November 2012 v22b). There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies at the beginning of November.

October 23, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Oct. 2012 v22). Great news - we've added coverage information for CVS Caremark for Hawaii State Employees. We'd also like to thank Cherisse at the Kalihi-Palama Health Center for helping us revise our glucometer coverage information. We also included changes made by HMSA and United Healthcare, who updated their formularies in October.

September 4, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Sept. 2012 v21). We've added coverage for glucometers, lancets, and test strips thanks to the hard work of Nicole Schauer & Aaron Lani (4th year students), and Ben Chavez (faculty) at the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy. We really appreciate all the phone calls they made to get this info. We've also added a link to Target's $4/$10 generic drug list (similar to Walmart's). Otherwise, there were no significant changes to the health plan formularies.

August 7, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (August 2012 v20b). There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies in August.We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes.

July 11, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (July 2012 v20a). HMSA, HMSA Quest, Evercare, and AlohaCare made changes to their formularies in July, and Walmart updated their $4/$10 generic list as well. Several drugs are now generic, including Lexapro (escitalopram $138), Plavix (clopidogrel $15), Avapro (irbesartan $75), Seroquel(quetiapine $14)

June 10, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (June 10, 2012 v19c)- There were no changes to the health plan formularies in June.

May 11, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (May 2012 v19b)- We'd like to thank the Hawaii Pharmacist Association for getting the word out about the Prescribing Guide at their 2012 Annual meeting a few weeks ago. We really appreciate all that pharmacists do to help us figure out what's covered for our patients. There were no significant changes to health plan formularies in the last month. We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes.

April 12, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Apr 2012 v19a).
EXCITING NEWS - we've added Smoking Cessation drugs. In addition, AlohaCare, HMSA and UHA Evercare have updated their formularies.

March 6, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Mar 2012 v18c).
There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies except that Atorvastatin has been added to the Ohana Health Plan QExA. We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes.

February 21, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Feb 2012 v18b).
Exciting news - We have added Ear/Otic drugs (e.g.antibiotics) as requested. We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes. Also, Evercare asked that we change their name to United Healthcare Community Plans.

January 11, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Jan 2012 v18a).
Major news - Since Liptor went generic recently (i.e. atorvastatin), it is now covered by HMSA (~$5 copay) and HMSA Quest ($0 copay). It is not yet covered by AlohaCare, Evercare, or Ohana but we'll let you know when it is. The Costco retail price for generic Lipitor is $87 (for 10mg)and $123 (20mg,40mg,80mg)for one month supply.

December 13, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Dec 2011 v17b).
There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies. There were a lot of changes in retail prices. Avandaryl and Avandamet can no longer be filled at Long's, Costco, Times or the usual pharmacies. The FDA now requires they be filled through special mail order programs.

November 9, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Nov 2011 v17a).
We updated the Costco retail prices. There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies.

October 25, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Oct 2011 v16d).
We updated early since HMSA/HMSA Quest, Evercare, and Ohana changed their formularies. Most changes for HMSA/HMSA Quest were minor. Ohana - Januvia & TZDs now require patient to fail metformin first. Evercare - Diovan, Micardis now need prior authorizations. Cozaar is generic and covered by all health plans in the Prescribing Guide at generic copays ($0-$5).

October 3, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Oct 2011 v16c).
Hi folks - Walmart took Ventolin HFA off of their $4/$9 list (Albuterol nebs are still $4). If there's any other drug classes that you'd like us to add, just let us know.

August 18, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Aug 2011 v16b). Just a heads up that AlohaCare updated their formulary by adding step therapy requirements for Singulair, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Effexor XR, Wellbutrin XR/SL, Diovan, and Micardis.

July 27, 2011 - Hi folks - we are redesigning the website over the next few weeks and apolgize for any inconvenience in advance. We'll work on getting it wrapped up as quickly as we can.

July 14, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (July 2011 v16). EXCITING NEWS- we've added INSOMNIA and ANTI-PSYCHOTIC drugs. Mahalo to Dr. Ben Chavez, Han Duong, and Marisa Schroeder at the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy for putting this together. Great job! Also, we give a big welcome to Lola Colombe, our new coordinator.

May 16, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (May 2011 v14c). We welcome the pharmacists who have just started using the Prescribing Guide website or have signed up to receive the Prescribing Guide by mail. NOTE - the Prescribing Guide does NOT cover Medicare Part D formularies. For those of you who also receive the Prescribing Guide by mail, we ask your help in sending back the stamped yellow postcard to let us know if you still need the printed version or if we need to update your address.

April 13, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (April 2011 v14b). We are now making the Prescribing Guide available for free to Hawaii's pharmacists as well, because of their important role in helping patients get the medications they need. We would especially like to thank the Hawaii Pharmacists Association for their help in getting the word out and the National Institute of Health for our grant funding.

March 24, 2011 -Prescribing Guide (March 2011 v14a). There haven't been too many changes from the last version. For those of you who also receive the Prescribing Guide by mail, we ask your help in sending back the stamped yellow postcard to let us know if you still need the printed version or if we need to update your address. Mahalo.

January 31, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (January 2011 v13b). Good news for those with asthma - Walmart now has Ventolin HFA for $9 (albuterol nebs $4 still). For those with hypertension, Cozaar and Hyzaar are now available as generic ARBs. Heads up that AlohaCare, Evercare, and HMSA formularies have made some changes. Also, as of January 1st, 2011, Evercare will no longer cover OneTouch glucometer/supplies. Patients who are using a OneTouch glucometer will need to call to switch to a covered monitor for free. To get the Accu-check Aviva or Accu-check Compact Plus, call 1-877-411-9833. To get the Bayer Contour or BREEZE 2, call 1-888-877-8306.

December 3, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (December 2010 v13). Evercare has made major changes which are now included. Great news, we have a new grant from the National Institute of Health to continue the Prescribing Guide and talk with providers about how to improve it. Thanks for all your support.

October 19, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (October 2010 v12c). HMSA and Ohana made minor updates which are now included. The anti-migraine drug naratriptan (Amerge) is now generic and is better covered. Sumatriptan (Imitrex) is the other generic in the same class.

September 28, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (September 2010 v12b). We're featured in today's Star Advertiser article which encourages people and their doctors to talk about drug costs in order to choose the best medication at affordable cost.

September 16, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (September 2010 v12b). AlohaCare and Walmart have made minor updates but these haven't affected the drugs in the Prescribing Guide. If there's any drug class or health condition that you think would be useful to add (e.g. smoking cessation drugs), just send us a quick email (click"contact").

August 24, 2010 -Prescribing Guide August 2010 v12. AlohaCare and Evercare updated their formularies but there's no major changes from the July 2010 version. Good news - thanks to additional grant funding, the Prescribing Guide is now available to all providers and the general public. Usernames and passwords are no longer required.

July 11, 2010 - Prescribing Guide July 2010 v11c. Changes from June - HMSA/HMSA Quest now covers Lipitor 10mg, 20mg, & 40mg at preferred-brand copays. Cozaar (Losartan) and Hyzaar (Losartan/HCTZ) are now generic and have generic copayments.

June 9, 2010 - We updated the Guide today. Changes from May - AlohaCare now requires a PA for Rhinocort. Else, no other changes. We are now updating the Web version of the Guide at the beginning of each month. Those on our mailing list will still get quarterly updates.

May 12, 2010 - Welcome to the Prescribing Guide v11. Good news - Cozaar and Prevacid are now available as generic drugs.

December 4, 2009 - Hello everyone, we've updated the Prescribing Guide (v.10). You can now print complete copies ! Just click on "health plan formularies" and follow the directions. We've also added a link to "www.q1Medicare.com", a free website that lets you check stand-alone Part D formularies like AARP.

September 3, 2009 - Hello everyone, quick correction on the August 2009 v.9 of the Prescribing Guide: AlohaCare - Nasacort is NOT covered and needs a prior authorization. Thanks for letting us know with a quick email if you think a correction is needed!

August 14, 2009 - Hello everyone, the August 2009 v.9 of the Prescribing Guide is here and we've added a DERMATOLOGY section with steroid creams. If you're using this website and don't need the hardcopy anymore, send us a quick email (Contact Us) to let us know so that we can go "green" and save some trees.

July 13, 2009 - We've updated our "Other Resources" with useful websites such as:
Epocrates - a free prescribing resource
www.TheUnadvertisedBrand - gives information on generic drugs
Consumer Reports - Best Buy Drugs - compares drugs on effectiveness, cost, and side-effects.

April 23, 2009 - We've added EverCare and Ohana to the Prescribing Guide. A note of caution, the Evercare website has two ways of looking at formulary coverage which do not always agree on whether a drug is covered. In the Guide, we've put "covered?" for these drugs. We'll go back to working on steroid creams again, and hopefully can add these before the next update in August.

February 10, 2009 - Hawaii's new Medicaid program - QUEST Expanded Access started 2/1/09. Medicare-Medicaid FFS patients are now enrolled in either EverCare or Ohana

December 28 2008 - Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. The December 2008 v.7 has been mailed out to everyone. We've had on average 160+ unique users each month on the website and appreciate everyone's feedback. We're working on a "steroid creams" section by request which should come out mid-February on this website for folks to try out. We've also had a request for ophthalmology medications, which is next on our list. All the best wishes to everyone for 2009.

September 2008 - We'd like to thank Hawaii Public Radio for doing a feature on the Prescribing Guide website.

April 21, 2016 v43. Mahalo to College of Pharmacy at Hilo students Brandon  Tuzon and Andy Takahata for helping with the April update. AlohaCare made many changes. Arcapta and Striverdi are now covered as preferred long-acting beta agonists for HMSA Quest and UHC. Suggestions and requests for new drug classes are always welcome.

AlohaCare - now covers Combivent respimat, Spriva, Elinest, Niacin ER, Topicort, Locoid, Tradjenta, Auralgan, Debrox, irbesartan, Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien CR, Oleptro, Cafergot, Migranal, Abilify, Abilify Discmelt, Latuda, and Invega. Dropped coverage for Levemir, alprazolam, lorazepam, and trazodone.

HMSA Quest - added Arcapta and Striverdi, and dropped ProAir.

United HealthCare - now covers Arcapta and Striverdi instead of formoterol and salmeterol. Vortext spacer now covered instead of Inspirease.

February 19, 2016 v42. Mahalo to College of Pharmacy at Hilo students Alexander Galicinao and Christopher Thai for helping with the February update. United HealthCare and Ohana made the following changes (below).

Ohana - now covers Novolin 70/30, Novolin N, Novolin R, Novolog, and Novolog 70/30

United HealthCare - Insulin glargine is now covered as Tuojeo instead of Lantus. Levemir is no longer covered. Only One Touch glucometer is covered now (Accu-chek no longer covered).

Nov 17, 2015 v41. AlohaCare made significant changes to their formulary for asthma drugs, and we've made the updates.

Flovent HFA/Diskus dropped -->  preferred Arnuity Ellipta (fluticasone furoate) & Asmanex (mometasone)

Advair, Symbicort dropped --> preferred Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate / vilanterol) and Dulera (mometasone/ formoterol)

Spiriva, Tudorza dropped --> preferred Incruse Ellipta (umeclidinium) and Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium/vilanterol)

Nov 4, 2015 v40. We've checked and updated all the formularies up to Nov 1st. Thanks to College of Pharmacy at Hilo student Kasia Quintal for helping with the update on birth control drugs.

July 30, 2015 v39. Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. A big thank you to College of Pharmacy at Hilo students David Choe and Andy Wong this month for doing a terrific job in checking all the formularies for the July update.

June 18, 2015 v38. We're very pleased that Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy's Assistant Professor Camlyn Masuda, Pharm.D. is officially joining our Prescribing Guide team. We'd also like to give a big mahalo to students Kelsey Chang and Allen Bagalso for their hard work in doing the June update. This will be a terrific collaboration with folks at the College of Pharmacy at Hilo and we appreciate their ideas and support.

March 7, 2015 v37. Mahalo to pharmacists Traci Kusaka and Camyln Masuda for all their support in the March update, and to the Hawaii Pharmacists Association for once again passing out the Prescribing Guide at their 2015 Annual Meeting this weekend. Only AlohaCare and CVS (state employees) had significant changes to their formularies. We included an Anticoag/Platelet section on coverage for Eliquis, Pradaxa, and Xarelto. New OTC drugs include Flonase (fluticasone nasal) ~$15/bottle.

January 15, 2015 v36. We've updated all formularies ito include the January 2015 formularies for HMSA, HMSA Quest, Ohana, and United HealthCare.

October 22, 2014 v35. Novolog 70/30 is available for less than $30 at certain pharmacies. www.goodrx.com gives estimated retail prices for drugs at all local pharmacies for comparison shopping. As a reminder, we''ll be going completely web-based by end of 2014 and will no longer mail out hard-copies on a quarterly basis. Folks can still print the complete Prescribing Guide for free from our website. We'd like to thank everyone for their support .

July 28, 2014 v34 - HMSA and HMSA Quest updated their formularies in July and we included these changes.

June 9, 2014 v33 - We'll be going completely web-based by end of 2014 and will no longer mail out hard-copies on a quarterly basis. We're sorry not to provide the mailings to those who find it useful, but formularies change often enough that we need to ask folks to use our website which is updated monthly. Folks can still print the complete Prescribing Guide for free from our website.

April 30, 2014 v32 - This month, we've updated the Guide to reflect new versions of CVS Caremark (4/2014), HMSA (4/1/14), and United Healthcare formularies (4/1/14).

March 28, 2014 v31 - Ohana and HMSA updated their formularies.

January 23, 2014 v30 - Ohana, HMSA, Caremark, and United Healthcare updated their formularies. Accolate (zafirlukast) is now generic, though prices are still high even for the generic version.

December 29, 2013 v28c - Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. We made updates to the following : AlohaCare, Ohana ("10/2013"), HMSA ("12/1/13"), HMSA Quest ("9/1/13 v2"), and Walmart $4 ("12/13/13"). The latest versions are given in parentheses.

November 21, 2013 v28b - Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. Formularies were updated for Alohacare, CVS (state employees), Ohana, and United Healthcare. For insulins, we added whether the pen versions are covered or not. For instance, United Healthcare (Evercare) only covers insulin vials, not pens.

October 7, 2013 v28. Formularies were updated in October for CVS (state employees) and United Healthcare. Walmart also updated their $4 generic drug list.

September 20, 2013 - v27. Formularies were updated in September for HMSA and HMSA Quest. We also added information on Pradaxa and Xarelto. For retail prices, we are now using the online price at Costco's website or the Epocrates website if the price is not available at the Costco website.

July 25, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v26. Formularies were updated in July for AlohaCare, CVS Caremark (for state employees), UnitedHealth Care, HMSA, and Ohana. Walmart also updated their $4 generic list.

June 13, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v25d. There were no significant changes to formularies for June. AlohaCare longer covers Proair (ventolin only) and may not cover Combivent Respimat. We expect the next big formulary update to be in July.

May 10, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v25c. Updates were made for Ohana's formulary and Walmart's $4 generic list. We also added three drugs: Pradaxa, chlorthalidone, and welchol.

April 22, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v25a. Formularies were updated in April for HMSA, HMSA Quest, CVS Caremark (for State employees only), and Evercare. Inexpensive generics are now available for Lexapro (escitalopram $7), Plavix (clopidogrel $13) and Restoril (temazepam $9).

March 7, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v24b. There were no updates to the Prescribing Guide in March. We expect there to be formulary updates in April.

February 7, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v24b. Ohana updated their formulary. Other news: The Hawaii Academy of Family Physicians will be helping to get the word out about the Prescribing Guide by passing out flyers at their annual conference March 1-3 at the Hilton. Come say hi!

January 23, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v24a. Several of the plans changed their formularies in January, including HMSA, HMSA Quest, and CVS Caremark. There's been many changes to glucometer/test strip coverage, so it's best to check before prescribing. Thanks to the folks at the Kalihi-Palama Health Clinic for helping us update our glucometer coverage information.

December 18, 2012 - Prescribing Guide v23. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to everyone. As always, we'd like to thank everyone for their support and feedback throughout this last year. Suggestions and requests for new drug classes are always welcome. Have a great 2013!

November 27, 2012 - Prescribing Guide v22c. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We'd like to thank Costco for helping us update our information. CORRECTION: There is NO extra charge for non-members to fill prescriptions at Costco (we had thought it was 5%). Members without insurance can join the free Costco Member Prescription Program for even lower prices. Flu shots are now $17 at Costco. Lastly, we appreciate all the "thank-you's" for adding glucometers. Suggestions and requests for new drug classes are always welcome.

November 15, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (November 2012 v22b). There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies at the beginning of November.

October 23, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Oct. 2012 v22). Great news - we've added coverage information for CVS Caremark for Hawaii State Employees. We'd also like to thank Cherisse at the Kalihi-Palama Health Center for helping us revise our glucometer coverage information. We also included changes made by HMSA and United Healthcare, who updated their formularies in October.

September 4, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Sept. 2012 v21). We've added coverage for glucometers, lancets, and test strips thanks to the hard work of Nicole Schauer & Aaron Lani (4th year students), and Ben Chavez (faculty) at the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy. We really appreciate all the phone calls they made to get this info. We've also added a link to Target's $4/$10 generic drug list (similar to Walmart's). Otherwise, there were no significant changes to the health plan formularies.

August 7, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (August 2012 v20b). There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies in August.We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes.

July 11, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (July 2012 v20a). HMSA, HMSA Quest, Evercare, and AlohaCare made changes to their formularies in July, and Walmart updated their $4/$10 generic list as well. Several drugs are now generic, including Lexapro (escitalopram $138), Plavix (clopidogrel $15), Avapro (irbesartan $75), Seroquel(quetiapine $14)

June 10, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (June 10, 2012 v19c)- There were no changes to the health plan formularies in June.

May 11, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (May 2012 v19b)- We'd like to thank the Hawaii Pharmacist Association for getting the word out about the Prescribing Guide at their 2012 Annual meeting a few weeks ago. We really appreciate all that pharmacists do to help us figure out what's covered for our patients. There were no significant changes to health plan formularies in the last month. We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes.

April 12, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Apr 2012 v19a).
EXCITING NEWS - we've added Smoking Cessation drugs. In addition, AlohaCare, HMSA and UHA Evercare have updated their formularies.

March 6, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Mar 2012 v18c).
There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies except that Atorvastatin has been added to the Ohana Health Plan QExA. We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes.

February 21, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Feb 2012 v18b).
Exciting news - We have added Ear/Otic drugs (e.g.antibiotics) as requested. We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes. Also, Evercare asked that we change their name to United Healthcare Community Plans.

January 11, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Jan 2012 v18a).
Major news - Since Liptor went generic recently (i.e. atorvastatin), it is now covered by HMSA (~$5 copay) and HMSA Quest ($0 copay). It is not yet covered by AlohaCare, Evercare, or Ohana but we'll let you know when it is. The Costco retail price for generic Lipitor is $87 (for 10mg)and $123 (20mg,40mg,80mg)for one month supply.

December 13, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Dec 2011 v17b).
There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies. There were a lot of changes in retail prices. Avandaryl and Avandamet can no longer be filled at Long's, Costco, Times or the usual pharmacies. The FDA now requires they be filled through special mail order programs.

November 9, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Nov 2011 v17a).
We updated the Costco retail prices. There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies.

October 25, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Oct 2011 v16d).
We updated early since HMSA/HMSA Quest, Evercare, and Ohana changed their formularies. Most changes for HMSA/HMSA Quest were minor. Ohana - Januvia & TZDs now require patient to fail metformin first. Evercare - Diovan, Micardis now need prior authorizations. Cozaar is generic and covered by all health plans in the Prescribing Guide at generic copays ($0-$5).

October 3, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Oct 2011 v16c).
Hi folks - Walmart took Ventolin HFA off of their $4/$9 list (Albuterol nebs are still $4). If there's any other drug classes that you'd like us to add, just let us know.

August 18, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Aug 2011 v16b). Just a heads up that AlohaCare updated their formulary by adding step therapy requirements for Singulair, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Effexor XR, Wellbutrin XR/SL, Diovan, and Micardis.

July 27, 2011 - Hi folks - we are redesigning the website over the next few weeks and apolgize for any inconvenience in advance. We'll work on getting it wrapped up as quickly as we can.

July 14, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (July 2011 v16). EXCITING NEWS- we've added INSOMNIA and ANTI-PSYCHOTIC drugs. Mahalo to Dr. Ben Chavez, Han Duong, and Marisa Schroeder at the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy for putting this together. Great job! Also, we give a big welcome to Lola Colombe, our new coordinator.

May 16, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (May 2011 v14c). We welcome the pharmacists who have just started using the Prescribing Guide website or have signed up to receive the Prescribing Guide by mail. NOTE - the Prescribing Guide does NOT cover Medicare Part D formularies. For those of you who also receive the Prescribing Guide by mail, we ask your help in sending back the stamped yellow postcard to let us know if you still need the printed version or if we need to update your address.

April 13, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (April 2011 v14b). We are now making the Prescribing Guide available for free to Hawaii's pharmacists as well, because of their important role in helping patients get the medications they need. We would especially like to thank the Hawaii Pharmacists Association for their help in getting the word out and the National Institute of Health for our grant funding.

March 24, 2011 -Prescribing Guide (March 2011 v14a). There haven't been too many changes from the last version. For those of you who also receive the Prescribing Guide by mail, we ask your help in sending back the stamped yellow postcard to let us know if you still need the printed version or if we need to update your address. Mahalo.

January 31, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (January 2011 v13b). Good news for those with asthma - Walmart now has Ventolin HFA for $9 (albuterol nebs $4 still). For those with hypertension, Cozaar and Hyzaar are now available as generic ARBs. Heads up that AlohaCare, Evercare, and HMSA formularies have made some changes. Also, as of January 1st, 2011, Evercare will no longer cover OneTouch glucometer/supplies. Patients who are using a OneTouch glucometer will need to call to switch to a covered monitor for free. To get the Accu-check Aviva or Accu-check Compact Plus, call 1-877-411-9833. To get the Bayer Contour or BREEZE 2, call 1-888-877-8306.

December 3, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (December 2010 v13). Evercare has made major changes which are now included. Great news, we have a new grant from the National Institute of Health to continue the Prescribing Guide and talk with providers about how to improve it. Thanks for all your support.

October 19, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (October 2010 v12c). HMSA and Ohana made minor updates which are now included. The anti-migraine drug naratriptan (Amerge) is now generic and is better covered. Sumatriptan (Imitrex) is the other generic in the same class.

September 28, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (September 2010 v12b). We're featured in today's Star Advertiser article which encourages people and their doctors to talk about drug costs in order to choose the best medication at affordable cost.

September 16, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (September 2010 v12b). AlohaCare and Walmart have made minor updates but these haven't affected the drugs in the Prescribing Guide. If there's any drug class or health condition that you think would be useful to add (e.g. smoking cessation drugs), just send us a quick email (click"contact").

August 24, 2010 -Prescribing Guide August 2010 v12. AlohaCare and Evercare updated their formularies but there's no major changes from the July 2010 version. Good news - thanks to additional grant funding, the Prescribing Guide is now available to all providers and the general public. Usernames and passwords are no longer required.

July 11, 2010 - Prescribing Guide July 2010 v11c. Changes from June - HMSA/HMSA Quest now covers Lipitor 10mg, 20mg, & 40mg at preferred-brand copays. Cozaar (Losartan) and Hyzaar (Losartan/HCTZ) are now generic and have generic copayments.

June 9, 2010 - We updated the Guide today. Changes from May - AlohaCare now requires a PA for Rhinocort. Else, no other changes. We are now updating the Web version of the Guide at the beginning of each month. Those on our mailing list will still get quarterly updates.

May 12, 2010 - Welcome to the Prescribing Guide v11. Good news - Cozaar and Prevacid are now available as generic drugs.

December 4, 2009 - Hello everyone, we've updated the Prescribing Guide (v.10). You can now print complete copies ! Just click on "health plan formularies" and follow the directions. We've also added a link to "www.q1Medicare.com", a free website that lets you check stand-alone Part D formularies like AARP.

September 3, 2009 - Hello everyone, quick correction on the August 2009 v.9 of the Prescribing Guide: AlohaCare - Nasacort is NOT covered and needs a prior authorization. Thanks for letting us know with a quick email if you think a correction is needed!

August 14, 2009 - Hello everyone, the August 2009 v.9 of the Prescribing Guide is here and we've added a DERMATOLOGY section with steroid creams. If you're using this website and don't need the hardcopy anymore, send us a quick email (Contact Us) to let us know so that we can go "green" and save some trees.

July 13, 2009 - We've updated our "Other Resources" with useful websites such as:
Epocrates - a free prescribing resource
www.TheUnadvertisedBrand - gives information on generic drugs
Consumer Reports - Best Buy Drugs - compares drugs on effectiveness, cost, and side-effects.

April 23, 2009 - We've added EverCare and Ohana to the Prescribing Guide. A note of caution, the Evercare website has two ways of looking at formulary coverage which do not always agree on whether a drug is covered. In the Guide, we've put "covered?" for these drugs. We'll go back to working on steroid creams again, and hopefully can add these before the next update in August.

February 10, 2009 - Hawaii's new Medicaid program - QUEST Expanded Access started 2/1/09. Medicare-Medicaid FFS patients are now enrolled in either EverCare or Ohana

December 28 2008 - Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. The December 2008 v.7 has been mailed out to everyone. We've had on average 160+ unique users each month on the website and appreciate everyone's feedback. We're working on a "steroid creams" section by request which should come out mid-February on this website for folks to try out. We've also had a request for ophthalmology medications, which is next on our list. All the best wishes to everyone for 2009.

September 2008 - We'd like to thank Hawaii Public Radio for doing a feature on the Prescribing Guide website.

June 28, 2016 v44. Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. Mahalo to College of Pharmacy at Hilo students Tony Huynh, Nicole Chin and Sean Abreu for helping with the June update. United HealthCare updated their formulary. Suggestions and requests for new drug classes are always welcome.

April 21, 2016 v43. Mahalo to College of Pharmacy at Hilo students Brandon  Tuzon and Andy Takahata for helping with the April update. AlohaCare made many changes. Arcapta and Striverdi are now covered as preferred long-acting beta agonists for HMSA Quest and UHC. Suggestions and requests for new drug classes are always welcome.

AlohaCare - now covers Combivent respimat, Spriva, Elinest, Niacin ER, Topicort, Locoid, Tradjenta, Auralgan, Debrox, irbesartan, Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien CR, Oleptro, Cafergot, Migranal, Abilify, Abilify Discmelt, Latuda, and Invega. Dropped coverage for Levemir, alprazolam, lorazepam, and trazodone.

HMSA Quest - added Arcapta and Striverdi, and dropped ProAir.

United HealthCare - now covers Arcapta and Striverdi instead of formoterol and salmeterol. Vortext spacer now covered instead of Inspirease.

February 19, 2016 v42. Mahalo to College of Pharmacy at Hilo students Alexander Galicinao and Christopher Thai for helping with the February update. United HealthCare and Ohana made the following changes (below).

Ohana - now covers Novolin 70/30, Novolin N, Novolin R, Novolog, and Novolog 70/30

United HealthCare - Insulin glargine is now covered as Tuojeo instead of Lantus. Levemir is no longer covered. Only One Touch glucometer is covered now (Accu-chek no longer covered).

Nov 17, 2015 v41. AlohaCare made significant changes to their formulary for asthma drugs, and we've made the updates.

Flovent HFA/Diskus dropped -->  preferred Arnuity Ellipta (fluticasone furoate) & Asmanex (mometasone)

Advair, Symbicort dropped --> preferred Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate / vilanterol) and Dulera (mometasone/ formoterol)

Spiriva, Tudorza dropped --> preferred Incruse Ellipta (umeclidinium) and Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium/vilanterol)

Nov 4, 2015 v40. We've checked and updated all the formularies up to Nov 1st. Thanks to College of Pharmacy at Hilo student Kasia Quintal for helping with the update on birth control drugs.

July 30, 2015 v39. Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. A big thank you to College of Pharmacy at Hilo students David Choe and Andy Wong this month for doing a terrific job in checking all the formularies for the July update.

June 18, 2015 v38. We're very pleased that Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy's Assistant Professor Camlyn Masuda, Pharm.D. is officially joining our Prescribing Guide team. We'd also like to give a big mahalo to students Kelsey Chang and Allen Bagalso for their hard work in doing the June update. This will be a terrific collaboration with folks at the College of Pharmacy at Hilo and we appreciate their ideas and support.

March 7, 2015 v37. Mahalo to pharmacists Traci Kusaka and Camyln Masuda for all their support in the March update, and to the Hawaii Pharmacists Association for once again passing out the Prescribing Guide at their 2015 Annual Meeting this weekend. Only AlohaCare and CVS (state employees) had significant changes to their formularies. We included an Anticoag/Platelet section on coverage for Eliquis, Pradaxa, and Xarelto. New OTC drugs include Flonase (fluticasone nasal) ~$15/bottle.

January 15, 2015 v36. We've updated all formularies ito include the January 2015 formularies for HMSA, HMSA Quest, Ohana, and United HealthCare.

October 22, 2014 v35. Novolog 70/30 is available for less than $30 at certain pharmacies. www.goodrx.com gives estimated retail prices for drugs at all local pharmacies for comparison shopping. As a reminder, we''ll be going completely web-based by end of 2014 and will no longer mail out hard-copies on a quarterly basis. Folks can still print the complete Prescribing Guide for free from our website. We'd like to thank everyone for their support .

July 28, 2014 v34 - HMSA and HMSA Quest updated their formularies in July and we included these changes.

June 9, 2014 v33 - We'll be going completely web-based by end of 2014 and will no longer mail out hard-copies on a quarterly basis. We're sorry not to provide the mailings to those who find it useful, but formularies change often enough that we need to ask folks to use our website which is updated monthly. Folks can still print the complete Prescribing Guide for free from our website.

April 30, 2014 v32 - This month, we've updated the Guide to reflect new versions of CVS Caremark (4/2014), HMSA (4/1/14), and United Healthcare formularies (4/1/14).

March 28, 2014 v31 - Ohana and HMSA updated their formularies.

January 23, 2014 v30 - Ohana, HMSA, Caremark, and United Healthcare updated their formularies. Accolate (zafirlukast) is now generic, though prices are still high even for the generic version.

December 29, 2013 v28c - Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. We made updates to the following : AlohaCare, Ohana ("10/2013"), HMSA ("12/1/13"), HMSA Quest ("9/1/13 v2"), and Walmart $4 ("12/13/13"). The latest versions are given in parentheses.

November 21, 2013 v28b - Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. Formularies were updated for Alohacare, CVS (state employees), Ohana, and United Healthcare. For insulins, we added whether the pen versions are covered or not. For instance, United Healthcare (Evercare) only covers insulin vials, not pens.

October 7, 2013 v28. Formularies were updated in October for CVS (state employees) and United Healthcare. Walmart also updated their $4 generic drug list.

September 20, 2013 - v27. Formularies were updated in September for HMSA and HMSA Quest. We also added information on Pradaxa and Xarelto. For retail prices, we are now using the online price at Costco's website or the Epocrates website if the price is not available at the Costco website.

July 25, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v26. Formularies were updated in July for AlohaCare, CVS Caremark (for state employees), UnitedHealth Care, HMSA, and Ohana. Walmart also updated their $4 generic list.

June 13, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v25d. There were no significant changes to formularies for June. AlohaCare longer covers Proair (ventolin only) and may not cover Combivent Respimat. We expect the next big formulary update to be in July.

May 10, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v25c. Updates were made for Ohana's formulary and Walmart's $4 generic list. We also added three drugs: Pradaxa, chlorthalidone, and welchol.

April 22, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v25a. Formularies were updated in April for HMSA, HMSA Quest, CVS Caremark (for State employees only), and Evercare. Inexpensive generics are now available for Lexapro (escitalopram $7), Plavix (clopidogrel $13) and Restoril (temazepam $9).

March 7, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v24b. There were no updates to the Prescribing Guide in March. We expect there to be formulary updates in April.

February 7, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v24b. Ohana updated their formulary. Other news: The Hawaii Academy of Family Physicians will be helping to get the word out about the Prescribing Guide by passing out flyers at their annual conference March 1-3 at the Hilton. Come say hi!

January 23, 2013 - Prescribing Guide v24a. Several of the plans changed their formularies in January, including HMSA, HMSA Quest, and CVS Caremark. There's been many changes to glucometer/test strip coverage, so it's best to check before prescribing. Thanks to the folks at the Kalihi-Palama Health Clinic for helping us update our glucometer coverage information.

December 18, 2012 - Prescribing Guide v23. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to everyone. As always, we'd like to thank everyone for their support and feedback throughout this last year. Suggestions and requests for new drug classes are always welcome. Have a great 2013!

November 27, 2012 - Prescribing Guide v22c. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We'd like to thank Costco for helping us update our information. CORRECTION: There is NO extra charge for non-members to fill prescriptions at Costco (we had thought it was 5%). Members without insurance can join the free Costco Member Prescription Program for even lower prices. Flu shots are now $17 at Costco. Lastly, we appreciate all the "thank-you's" for adding glucometers. Suggestions and requests for new drug classes are always welcome.

November 15, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (November 2012 v22b). There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies at the beginning of November.

October 23, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Oct. 2012 v22). Great news - we've added coverage information for CVS Caremark for Hawaii State Employees. We'd also like to thank Cherisse at the Kalihi-Palama Health Center for helping us revise our glucometer coverage information. We also included changes made by HMSA and United Healthcare, who updated their formularies in October.

September 4, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Sept. 2012 v21). We've added coverage for glucometers, lancets, and test strips thanks to the hard work of Nicole Schauer & Aaron Lani (4th year students), and Ben Chavez (faculty) at the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy. We really appreciate all the phone calls they made to get this info. We've also added a link to Target's $4/$10 generic drug list (similar to Walmart's). Otherwise, there were no significant changes to the health plan formularies.

August 7, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (August 2012 v20b). There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies in August.We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes.

July 11, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (July 2012 v20a). HMSA, HMSA Quest, Evercare, and AlohaCare made changes to their formularies in July, and Walmart updated their $4/$10 generic list as well. Several drugs are now generic, including Lexapro (escitalopram $138), Plavix (clopidogrel $15), Avapro (irbesartan $75), Seroquel(quetiapine $14)

June 10, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (June 10, 2012 v19c)- There were no changes to the health plan formularies in June.

May 11, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (May 2012 v19b)- We'd like to thank the Hawaii Pharmacist Association for getting the word out about the Prescribing Guide at their 2012 Annual meeting a few weeks ago. We really appreciate all that pharmacists do to help us figure out what's covered for our patients. There were no significant changes to health plan formularies in the last month. We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes.

April 12, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Apr 2012 v19a).
EXCITING NEWS - we've added Smoking Cessation drugs. In addition, AlohaCare, HMSA and UHA Evercare have updated their formularies.

March 6, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Mar 2012 v18c).
There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies except that Atorvastatin has been added to the Ohana Health Plan QExA. We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes.

February 21, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Feb 2012 v18b).
Exciting news - We have added Ear/Otic drugs (e.g.antibiotics) as requested. We appreciate any suggestions and welcome other requests for new drug classes. Also, Evercare asked that we change their name to United Healthcare Community Plans.

January 11, 2012 - Prescribing Guide (Jan 2012 v18a).
Major news - Since Liptor went generic recently (i.e. atorvastatin), it is now covered by HMSA (~$5 copay) and HMSA Quest ($0 copay). It is not yet covered by AlohaCare, Evercare, or Ohana but we'll let you know when it is. The Costco retail price for generic Lipitor is $87 (for 10mg)and $123 (20mg,40mg,80mg)for one month supply.

December 13, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Dec 2011 v17b).
There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies. There were a lot of changes in retail prices. Avandaryl and Avandamet can no longer be filled at Long's, Costco, Times or the usual pharmacies. The FDA now requires they be filled through special mail order programs.

November 9, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Nov 2011 v17a).
We updated the Costco retail prices. There were no significant changes to the health plan formularies.

October 25, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Oct 2011 v16d).
We updated early since HMSA/HMSA Quest, Evercare, and Ohana changed their formularies. Most changes for HMSA/HMSA Quest were minor. Ohana - Januvia & TZDs now require patient to fail metformin first. Evercare - Diovan, Micardis now need prior authorizations. Cozaar is generic and covered by all health plans in the Prescribing Guide at generic copays ($0-$5).

October 3, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Oct 2011 v16c).
Hi folks - Walmart took Ventolin HFA off of their $4/$9 list (Albuterol nebs are still $4). If there's any other drug classes that you'd like us to add, just let us know.

August 18, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (Aug 2011 v16b). Just a heads up that AlohaCare updated their formulary by adding step therapy requirements for Singulair, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Effexor XR, Wellbutrin XR/SL, Diovan, and Micardis.

July 27, 2011 - Hi folks - we are redesigning the website over the next few weeks and apolgize for any inconvenience in advance. We'll work on getting it wrapped up as quickly as we can.

July 14, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (July 2011 v16). EXCITING NEWS- we've added INSOMNIA and ANTI-PSYCHOTIC drugs. Mahalo to Dr. Ben Chavez, Han Duong, and Marisa Schroeder at the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy for putting this together. Great job! Also, we give a big welcome to Lola Colombe, our new coordinator.

May 16, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (May 2011 v14c). We welcome the pharmacists who have just started using the Prescribing Guide website or have signed up to receive the Prescribing Guide by mail. NOTE - the Prescribing Guide does NOT cover Medicare Part D formularies. For those of you who also receive the Prescribing Guide by mail, we ask your help in sending back the stamped yellow postcard to let us know if you still need the printed version or if we need to update your address.

April 13, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (April 2011 v14b). We are now making the Prescribing Guide available for free to Hawaii's pharmacists as well, because of their important role in helping patients get the medications they need. We would especially like to thank the Hawaii Pharmacists Association for their help in getting the word out and the National Institute of Health for our grant funding.

March 24, 2011 -Prescribing Guide (March 2011 v14a). There haven't been too many changes from the last version. For those of you who also receive the Prescribing Guide by mail, we ask your help in sending back the stamped yellow postcard to let us know if you still need the printed version or if we need to update your address. Mahalo.

January 31, 2011 - Prescribing Guide (January 2011 v13b). Good news for those with asthma - Walmart now has Ventolin HFA for $9 (albuterol nebs $4 still). For those with hypertension, Cozaar and Hyzaar are now available as generic ARBs. Heads up that AlohaCare, Evercare, and HMSA formularies have made some changes. Also, as of January 1st, 2011, Evercare will no longer cover OneTouch glucometer/supplies. Patients who are using a OneTouch glucometer will need to call to switch to a covered monitor for free. To get the Accu-check Aviva or Accu-check Compact Plus, call 1-877-411-9833. To get the Bayer Contour or BREEZE 2, call 1-888-877-8306.

December 3, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (December 2010 v13). Evercare has made major changes which are now included. Great news, we have a new grant from the National Institute of Health to continue the Prescribing Guide and talk with providers about how to improve it. Thanks for all your support.

October 19, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (October 2010 v12c). HMSA and Ohana made minor updates which are now included. The anti-migraine drug naratriptan (Amerge) is now generic and is better covered. Sumatriptan (Imitrex) is the other generic in the same class.

September 28, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (September 2010 v12b). We're featured in today's Star Advertiser article which encourages people and their doctors to talk about drug costs in order to choose the best medication at affordable cost.

September 16, 2010 - Prescribing Guide (September 2010 v12b). AlohaCare and Walmart have made minor updates but these haven't affected the drugs in the Prescribing Guide. If there's any drug class or health condition that you think would be useful to add (e.g. smoking cessation drugs), just send us a quick email (click"contact").

August 24, 2010 -Prescribing Guide August 2010 v12. AlohaCare and Evercare updated their formularies but there's no major changes from the July 2010 version. Good news - thanks to additional grant funding, the Prescribing Guide is now available to all providers and the general public. Usernames and passwords are no longer required.

July 11, 2010 - Prescribing Guide July 2010 v11c. Changes from June - HMSA/HMSA Quest now covers Lipitor 10mg, 20mg, & 40mg at preferred-brand copays. Cozaar (Losartan) and Hyzaar (Losartan/HCTZ) are now generic and have generic copayments.

June 9, 2010 - We updated the Guide today. Changes from May - AlohaCare now requires a PA for Rhinocort. Else, no other changes. We are now updating the Web version of the Guide at the beginning of each month. Those on our mailing list will still get quarterly updates.

May 12, 2010 - Welcome to the Prescribing Guide v11. Good news - Cozaar and Prevacid are now available as generic drugs.

December 4, 2009 - Hello everyone, we've updated the Prescribing Guide (v.10). You can now print complete copies ! Just click on "health plan formularies" and follow the directions. We've also added a link to "www.q1Medicare.com", a free website that lets you check stand-alone Part D formularies like AARP.

September 3, 2009 - Hello everyone, quick correction on the August 2009 v.9 of the Prescribing Guide: AlohaCare - Nasacort is NOT covered and needs a prior authorization. Thanks for letting us know with a quick email if you think a correction is needed!

August 14, 2009 - Hello everyone, the August 2009 v.9 of the Prescribing Guide is here and we've added a DERMATOLOGY section with steroid creams. If you're using this website and don't need the hardcopy anymore, send us a quick email (Contact Us) to let us know so that we can go "green" and save some trees.

July 13, 2009 - We've updated our "Other Resources" with useful websites such as:
Epocrates - a free prescribing resource
www.TheUnadvertisedBrand - gives information on generic drugs
Consumer Reports - Best Buy Drugs - compares drugs on effectiveness, cost, and side-effects.

April 23, 2009 - We've added EverCare and Ohana to the Prescribing Guide. A note of caution, the Evercare website has two ways of looking at formulary coverage which do not always agree on whether a drug is covered. In the Guide, we've put "covered?" for these drugs. We'll go back to working on steroid creams again, and hopefully can add these before the next update in August.

February 10, 2009 - Hawaii's new Medicaid program - QUEST Expanded Access started 2/1/09. Medicare-Medicaid FFS patients are now enrolled in either EverCare or Ohana

December 28 2008 - Welcome to the Prescribing Guide. The December 2008 v.7 has been mailed out to everyone. We've had on average 160+ unique users each month on the website and appreciate everyone's feedback. We're working on a "steroid creams" section by request which should come out mid-February on this website for folks to try out. We've also had a request for ophthalmology medications, which is next on our list. All the best wishes to everyone for 2009.

September 2008 - We'd like to thank Hawaii Public Radio for doing a feature on the Prescribing Guide website.