Across enemy lines: Insurer recruits former drug reps to push more generics

Capital District Physicians' Health Plan in Albany, N.Y., is stepping up its fight against high drug prices with a new tactic — recruiting across enemy lines, reports The New York Times.

The insurer hires former drug representatives to educate physicians on prescription drug costs and the strategies drug reps use to sell medications, according to the report.

As a former drug salesman for Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, Mike Courtney spent his days wooing physicians to prescribe brand name drugs that often cost thousands of dollars each year, according to the report. Now, Mr. Courtney works for CDPHP, where he encourages physicians to prescribe much cheaper generic medications.

"Having come from big pharma, I do really feel my soul has been cleansed," Mr. Courtney told The New York Times. "I do feel like I'm more in touch with the physicians [and plan members]."

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